Magical Morgan hurts Australia
Eoin Morgan’s masterful unbeaten 89 proved telling for England as they maintained their excellent one-day form with a 15-run victory over Australia in the opening match of the NatWest Series at Lord’s.
Exhibiting the terrific hand-speed and muscular strokeplay that has earned him a reputation as one of the most fearsome batsmen in limited-overs cricket, Morgan put Australia’s attack to the sword with a perfectly-paced 63-ball innings containing four sixes.
The 25-year-old struck 34 from the final 11 deliveries he faced and his eye-catching contribution enabled England to reach 272 for five, an impressive effort after they had been invited to bat first in conditions that initially provided assistance to the bowlers.
David Warner dashed to 56 at the top of the order for Australia, but the runs soon dried up after he became the third batsman to fall in the 21st over.
Touring skipper Michael Clarke threatened to lead a fightback, having been dropped by Tim Bresnan on 16, and shared 57 in quick time with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.
However, Clarke then ran out his partner with 69 required and departed himself in the next over, lbw to Bresnan for 61.
The double breakthrough proved pivotal and Australia were ultimately restricted to 257 for nine as England secured a seventh straight ODI win to move 1-0 up in the five-match series.
Morgan will rightly claim the headlines, yet the efforts of the hosts’ top three should not be underestimated.
Ian Bell and Alastair Cook battled hard against the swinging and seaming ball to put on 74 for the first wicket in 17 overs, while the dependable Jonathan Trott laid the platform for Morgan’s late assault with a typically unfussy 54.
England’s wickets were shared among their four-pronged seam attack, with James Anderson, Steven Finn, Bresnan and Stuart Broad each claiming two wickets.
The two teams will next meet at the Kia Oval on Sunday.
Live Text Commentary
7:45pm - ENGLAND WIN BY 15 RUNS!!! - Despite taking it down to the last over, Australia are unable to pull off a miracle as Finn, arguably the pick of England’s attack, concedes just five from his last set of six. A fantastic victory for the home side, who now lead the five-match series 1-0. Eoin Morgan’s unbeaten 89 was certainly the key contribution today.
7:40pm - A mis-field from Finn and a wide from Broad provoke groans from the crowd and we head into the final over with Australia requiring 21. Doherty will be on strike.
7:35pm – DROPPED CATCH - Kieswetter misses out on a fifth catch following a thin edge from Xavier Doherty off the returning Swann. Twenty-eight needed from 12 balls. Surely not?
7:31pm - Lee continues to believe and mows Bresnan over cover for his third four. England will be confident of defending 34 in the final three overs.
7:24pm – WICKET! Cummins lbw Broad 4; Aus 231/9 - One of the worst reviews you will ever see from Pat Cummins, after he is struck on the pad in front of middle. England on the brink of victory with 42 needed from four overs and only one wicket remaining.
7:21pm – WICKET! McKay c Kieswetter b Broad 2; Aus 226/8 - The end is nigh as McKay sends a top-edge spiralling into the air off Broad. Catch number four for Kieswetter.
7:19pm - We all know that Lee will not give up and he pulls Bresnan for four to take the deficit below 50. Australia require 47 from 30 balls.
7:15pm - Lee collects a comical four as he tries to duck under a bouncer from Finn and somehow diverts the ball over the wicketkeeper with his bat. Six from the over and England will take that.
7:10pm – WICKET! Clarke lbw Bresnan 61; Aus 214/7 - Australia have a mountain to climb now. Clarke survives a hugely optimistic review after being rapped on the pad by a Bresnan delivery that was sliding down, only to be trapped plumb lbw from the final ball of the over. Fifty-nine needed from seven overs as Clint McKay joins Lee.
7:02pm – WICKET! Wade run out 27; Aus 204/6 - Another boundary at the start of an over, this time from Clarke, heralds the fifty partnership from as many deliveries. Australia’s captain then launches Swann over midwicket for six to bring up his fifty but England are gifted a breakthrough when Clarke dashes through for a single that was never on. Wade had no chance of making it to the non-striker’s end and is run out by several yards. That could be a huge moment. Here comes Brett Lee.
6:58pm - Wade will certainly try his best! He punishes an Anderson long-hop with a crunching pull for six. Nine overs left and 80 needed, with Clarke on 41 and his partner 27 not out.
6:54pm - Wade looks to take the attack to Swann but an attempted big heave comes to nothing. An excellent over from England’s spinner leaves Australia requiring 90 from the last 10 overs. Can anyone emulate Morgan's earlier heroics?
6:46pm - Clarke sees an edge fly through the vacant slip region off Broad before Wade collects his first four by sweeping Swann through square-leg. The wicketkeeper-batsman almost holes out later in the same over, but the ball lands just short of Finn at long-on. Eighteen runs from the last two overs.
6:36pm - It barely seems a moment since Australia required roughly a run a ball. They now need more than eight an over, a tricky task given the quality of England’s attack and the fact that Matthew Wade is new to the crease.
6:26pm – WICKET! Smith c Kieswetter b Bresnan 8; Aus 147/5 - Smith’s unconvincing stay at the crease is brought to a swift end. An indeterminate stroke outside off stump results in another edge through to Kieswetter, who makes no mistake. Australia badly need a partnership now, having lost two for 17 in the batting powerplay.
6:21pm - I am far from convinced that Smith should be batting at six. He looks all at sea against Finn at the moment. Australia take drinks on 145 for four and now need more than seven an over.
6:14pm – DROPPED CATCH - That could be costly; Clarke drives one back to Bresnan, but the bowler cannot take a relatively straightforward return chance.
6:07pm – WICKET! Hussey b Finn 13; Aus 132/4 - The required run-rate continues to rise as England’s bowlers keep the pressure on. Australia call for the batting powerplay in an attempt to regain the upper hand, but Hussey is then bowled via his helmet as he looks to pull. Steven Smith joins Clarke at the crease.
5:55pm - Finn and Bresnan, who struggled in his opening stint, are back into the attack for the hosts. The former is once again causing problems with his pace and bounce, but Clarke and Hussey are equal to the task. A thick edge from the latter off Bresnan, through the vacant slip region, brings a rare four.
5:45pm - Clarke and David Hussey have a rebuilding job on their hands here and are sensibly eschewing risk for the time being. Anderson, meanwhile, has left the field, with Surrey’s Jason Roy coming on as a substitute.
5:35pm - Australia captain Michael Clarke gets off the mark with an elegant push down the ground for four off Anderson. Thirteen from the over in total, but England will be thrilled to have removed Warner.
5:30pm –WICKET! Warner c Kieswetter b Anderson 56; Aus 102/3 - Beware the limping bowler! Anderson still appears to be suffering discomfort, but collects a second wicket in three balls when Warner edges through to Kieswetter. A good catch from England’s wicketkeeper as he dived to his left and it is now very much game on!
5:21pm – WICKET! Bailey b Anderson 29; Aus 96/2 - Anderson seems to be struggling with an injury of some kind. However, he is still able to oust Bailey, who lazily plays on just when he looked to be in control. Big wicket for England.
5:20pm – FIFTY! Warner (57b 5x4 1x6) - Warner guides Broad down to third man for his fifth four and then moves to 50 with a single into the off side. The opener has played very well after a shaky start, combining powerful strokeplay with a solid defence and intelligent rotation of the strike. Bailey has also impressed and boundaries on either side of the wicket take him to 29.
5:09pm - Bopara is entrusted with the final over before drinks. Australia are looking increasingly comfortable on 80 for one.
5:05pm - That one is probably my fault; Broad is pulled for six by Warner, who is closing in on a half-century. Nearly a nasty moment for Bopara later in the over as the ball rears up off a footmark at point and almost takes his head off!
4:58pm - A change of ends for Broad and another good over. He looks the most likely to make a breakthrough for England at the moment. The Swann v Warner battle continues and it is round two to the spinner as he bowls five dot balls, followed by a single.
4:51pm - This could be interesting. Warner has pledged to switch-hit Graeme Swann in this series and now he has his chance as the off-spinner enters the attack from the Pavilion End. Nothing out of the ordinary just yet.
4:47pm - A good first over from Broad, just the one from it. Bresnan then serves up a terrible short ball to Warner and is whipped around the corner for another four.
4:38pm - England will want to see the back of Warner very soon. He is into his stride now, emphasised by a pulled four over mid-on off Bresnan. Stuart Broad will take up the attack in place of Finn.
4:33pm - Warner picks up his first four with a powerful back-foot punch off Finn. Ravi Bopara got a hand to it, but could not prevent the ball from reaching the rope. Another flashing shot through the off side takes Warner to 20 before Tim Bresnan comes on for Anderson at the Nursery End.
4:27pm - George Bailey joins Warner at the crease and pulls Anderson for four to complete the seventh over. Stat-attack time - Australia’s T20 captain has made scores between 12 and 25 in each of his last six innings for his country.
4:22pm – WICKET! Watson c Kieswetter b Finn 12; Aus 20/1 - Watson has always been strong on the drive and he crunches Finn back past the stumps for a gorgeous four. The bowler gets his revenge with the next delivery, however, as he induces a faint edge through to Craig Kieswetter. Umpire Aleem Dar was not convinced, but a review is enough to send Watson packing.
4:18pm - Finn, operating around the 90mph mark, looks in fine fettle and is hurrying Australia’s opening pair. Watson steals a risky single from the final ball of the fourth over to prevent a maiden. An uneventful over from Anderson follows.
4:09pm - Warner helps himself to three through extra-cover, but then plays and misses aiming a booming drive outside off. The left-hander is also beaten on two occasions by Anderson and does not look comfortable yet. Australia are 10 without loss after three overs.
4pm - James Anderson with new ball number one for England and he concedes five in his first over. Steven Finn, who bowled impressively in Sunday's NatWest International T20 victory over West Indies, will get the first crack from the Pavilion End.
3:55pm - Crikey, here come the players and I've not even finished my first scone! I do wish the International Cricket Council would consider two-hour lunch intervals in 50-over cricket. David Warner and Shane Watson will open for Australia, so we could well have fireworks from the off!
3:37pm - What an exceptional performance that was from Morgan, marvellous entertainment for the sell-out crowd here. The sun is now shining brightly and I'll be back shortly to keep you updated on Australia's reply.
3:24pm – END OF INNINGS; Eng 272/5 (Morgan 89 not out, Kieswetter 25) - A cheeky scoop over Wade’s head enables Kieswetter to pick up four off Watson. England’s wicketkeeper is then caught by a diving Warner, running in from long-off, from the final ball of the innings. Morgan finishes unbeaten on 89, having struck five fours and four sixes in a thrilling 63-ball innings. He struck 34 from the final 11 deliveries he faced. England are probably somewhere around par on a good batting track.
3:19pm – Seven from Lee’s final over, which ends with Morgan flaying a full toss over backward point for four.
3:14pm - That’s more like it from Kieswetter! He hammers Watson down the ground for four to make it 16 runs from three balls. Morgan is dealing exclusively in maximums, meanwhile, and clouts a short delivery over square-leg for his third six in succession. A thunderous straight-driven four takes him to 81 from 58!
3:10pm - Just two runs from the first four balls of Lee’s ninth over, but Morgan then smears consecutive sixes over cow corner! England on to 238 with three overs remaining.
3:05pm - McKay follows Cummins in completing his 10-over stint, so it will be Lee and Watson to finish off unless Clarke springs a surprise. Kieswetter has yet to find his feet and has 12 from 19.
3pm – FIFTY! Morgan (45b 3x4 1x6) - Morgan gives McKay the charge and pummels a drive past mid-off to carry England past 200. The left-hander then pulls Cummins for four before guiding one just over the leaping Wade for two more. A single takes him to 50 from just 45 deliveries and this is developing into a fine innings.
2:52pm - Doherty is taken for six singles and finishes with 1-50 from 10 overs.
2:48pm - Morgan is integral to England’s hopes now. If he is there at the end, Cook’s men will most likely have a decent total. New batsman Kieswetter misses with a wild swipe at McKay, who continues to keep things tight, and England are 193 for four with eight overs remaining. They will want at least 260.
2:40pm – WICKET! Trott b Doherty 54; Eng 189/4 – Watson returns to finish off the powerplay and is milked for seven. A total of 40 runs scored from the five overs of fielding restrictions, but Trott then yorks himself when Doherty returns to the attack. Craig Kieswetter comes in.
2:32pm – FIFTY! Trott (65b 3x4 0x6) - The fifty partnership arrives, from 60 deliveries, before Trott reaches a half-century of his own. Another very productive over for England, with 12 coming from it.
2:27pm – DROPPED CATCH - Trott gets a life on 38 as Cummins spills a sharp return catch. The next delivery is horrendously wide and thumped to the cover fence. Morgan then plays the shot of the day, crashing a fuller ball down the ground for six! Thirteen from the over.
2:23pm - Morgan clips Lee through midwicket for the first boundary in eight overs; England needed that. Only two singles from the remainder of the over, though, and the hosts have yet to find the accelerator.
2:18pm - An excellent start to the powerplay from Cummins, who gives up just two runs from the Nursery End.
2:14pm - Australia could do with a wicket. Trott and Morgan are ticking along steadily and the batting powerplay will now be taken. This could well prove pivotal.
2:06pm - Watson replaces McKay and concedes six in an unthreatening over. Still no sign of Australia’s leg-spinner, Smith, as drinks are taken with England 142 for three after 33 overs.
2pm – REVIEW! - An outstanding piece of fielding from David Hussey on the midwicket fence prevents Trott from registering his second boundary. England’s number three is then beaten by Doherty and Australia surprisingly call for a review. No outside edge there I’m afraid – what a waste!
1:55pm - Eoin Morgan is the new man for England, whose run-rate is a shade above four an over. Two slips are in place for the left-hander against McKay as Australia look for another breakthrough.
1:44pm - WICKET! Bopara c Clarke b McKay 15; Eng 121/3 - “You are the weakest link,” mutters PA cricket correspondent David Clough as Doherty is punted over cover by Bopara for another four. The X-Man now has 0-30 from five but Australia have reason to cheer in the next over when Bopara edges the returning McKay to first slip, having been squared up. Clarke gets his reward for continuing to attack.
1:39pm - You get the impression England consider Doherty to be the weak link in Australia’s attack. Trott dances down the pitch and lofts one over the spinner’s head for four, but is lucky not to be run out in the next over as Cummins fields off his own bowling and narrowly misses the stumps. The teenage paceman then beats Bopara, who has yet to settle, outside off.
1:32pm - We are seeing some intriguing field placings from Australia’s skipper as he seeks a way to oust the dependable Trott. You have to admire how Clarke refuses to let the game drift at times like this. Doherty returns to the attack before Bopara drives Cummins down the ground for three to take England into three figures.
1:25pm - Cook will not be happy with his dismissal there. An uncharacteristic lapse in concentration proved costly for England’s captain. His Essex team-mate Bopara gets off the mark with a single before being cracked on the helmet by Cummins.
1:15pm - WICKET! Cook c Wade b Cummins 40; Eng 89/2 - Cummins, who had a brief spell off the field following his opening spell, returns and wastes little time in making an impression as Cook drives loosely and edges through to wicketkeeper Wade. Ravi Bopara joins Jonathan Trott at the crease.
1:12pm - That chance has not affected Cook in the slightest. The left-hander drives Watson through point and, in the next over, pulls Lee authoritatively through square-leg. A really good start in the circumstances for England, who reach 88 for one after 20 overs.
1:01pm - DROPPED CATCH! - Almost two wickets in as many balls for the Aussies. Cook gets a little bat on one down the leg side from Watson and Matthew Wade fails to hold on diving to his right. HotSpot shows Bell may have inside-edged against Lee, but he obviously did not think so having opted not to review.
12:59pm - WICKET! Bell lbw Lee 41; Eng 74/1 - Lee seems to have cheered up now! The paceman gets the reward his efforts have deserved, nipping one back down the slope and trapping Bell plumb in front. A huge wicket for Australia; the opener was looking in fine touch.
12:56pm: Fine stuff from Lee, who almost catches Cook out with a well-directed yorker just after the break. England are not finding it easy against the veteran paceman. Oh, wait, there’s a boundary and Cook may want to buy George Bailey a drink tonight. The left-hander pushes down the ground and eventually gets four after Bailey somehow misses the ball when fielding. Lee and Michael Clarke are not happy with Australia’s T20 skipper.
12:50pm - A change of ends for Watson but nothing to worry England as they move on to 69. That will be drinks.
12:46pm - Bell collects his fifth four with a pre-meditated reverse-sweep off Doherty, who then concedes another boundary as Cook capitalises on a loose delivery with a well-executed late cut. The return of Lee provides Australia with some control, however.
12:38pm - Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty, who copped some fearful tap during the 2010/11 Ashes, is introduced into the attack and concedes three singles in his first over. Actually, we have a double change, with Shane Watson on at the Pavilion End. A four to mid-on’s right from Bell brings up England’s 50 and they will be delighted with this start in the circumstances.
12:29pm - With some of the early moisture having disappeared, batting is suddenly looking somewhat easier. Cook follows Bell’s lead with a sweetly-timed square-driven four off Cummins.
12:25pm - Bell is starting to settle and punishes a rare loose delivery from McKay with a flashing cover-drive for four. A glorious push down the ground follows and England have some momentum. That's the end of the compulsory powerplay and there are 37 runs on the board.
12:21pm - McKay, the pick of Australia’s attack so far, causes Bell further problems in a probing over from the Nursery End. The sun then makes a welcome appearance! Huzzah! Good pace from Cummins in his second over, which yields two runs.
12:12pm - The first four off the bat arrives in streaky fashion. Bell looks to pull a shorter delivery from Cummins and sees a top-edge fly over the wicketkeeper. The Warwickshire batsman makes a better fist of his next shot, straight-driving for three to take the score on to 22 without loss.
12:08pm - Right then, we are about to begin for the fourth time today. After a tiresome stop-start morning, let us hope we have seen our last interruption. The highly-rated Cummins has the ball for Australia and the latest break in play is likely to make conditions even more tricky for England’s openers, who have been up against it so far.
11:57am - Frustratingly this is our longest stoppage yet. The covers were being rolled up, only for the rain to return once more. Australia’s players are warming up on the outfield, however, which offers an indication of how light the drizzle is at present. In other news, Jonny Bairstow and Samit Patel have been released to play for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire respectively in this evening’s Friends Life t20 fixtures. They will rejoin England’s squad tomorrow.
11:46pm - At the risk of sounding repetitive, we are anticipating much better weather as the day progresses. Once the current showers have finally cleared away, the prospects for uninterrupted play are good.
11:38am – RAIN STOPS PLAY (AGAIN!!); Eng 15/0 (6 overs) - England’s captain enjoys a slice of fortune as an edge off the impressive McKay flies inches over Steven Smith’s head at second slip. Lee dives across at third man to prevent a four and gets a soaking in the process. Goodness me, now we are off again!! Yet more rain!
11:34am - Here come the players for a third time this morning. Can England break the shackles?
11:30am - It looks as though the rain has eased once again. It should not be too much longer before play resumes.
11:19am – REVIEW AND A FURTHER STOPPAGE FOR RAIN; Eng 12/0 (5.2 overs) - Good grief – what an eventful couple of minutes. Bell is given out caught behind off McKay, but calls for an immediate review. As the third umpire examines a series of replays, the teams are forced off as the showers become heavier. Bell then waits by the boundary to see whether he will be able to return alongside Cook. Thankfully for him, umpire Richard Kettleborough’s original verdict is overturned, with the ball having missed the inside-edge and brushed the batsman’s leg.
11:12am - More rain in the air as Cook plays and misses outside off stump attempting a flat-footed drive. Slow progress for England but these are very difficult conditions for the opening batsmen.
11:08am - Lee beats Cook’s defensive push with a beautiful length delivery before completing a maiden. With pressure building on the batsmen, Bell then takes a quick single to mid-on’s right and would have been heading back to the pavilion had Cummins managed a direct hit at the non-striker’s end. This has been an accurate start from Australia’s seamers and England have just eight on the board after four overs.
11:01am - Thankfully, the drizzle has quickly cleared and we are ready to resume. The forecast for the remainder of the day is fairly promising, so hopefully there will be no more interruptions. Australia will be keen to make the most of the two new white balls in these conditions; Lee and McKay have already gained movement through the air and off the seam.
10:55am - RAIN STOPS PLAY; Eng 6/0 (2.2 overs) - And now we are going to have a brief stoppage. The rain is far from torrential, but there is enough to force the players off, for a few minutes at least.
10:54am - Former Yorkshire seamer Clint McKay is preferred to Pat Cummins as Lee’s new-ball partner. He concedes four leg-byes to Bell first up but keeps it tight for the remainder of the over and beats the outside edge with his sixth delivery. A few umbrellas have gone up I’m afraid.
10:49am - Alastair Cook gets England up and running with a single down to third man from Brett Lee’s first ball. Ian Bell also picks up one off the veteran fast bowler, who needs just two scalps to surpass Glenn McGrath as Australia’s leading ODI wicket-taker.
10:43am – Here come Australia, followed by England openers Cook and Bell. The NatWest Series is about to begin!
10:35am - The stands are steadily filling up ahead of the start of play; it is, of course, a sell-out today. The sun has disappeared for the time being but it looks as though we will be under way on time, with no sign of any showers thus far.
10:25am - It is worth reminding you that England have won their last six ODIs, with an opener reaching three figures on each occasion. Cook and Ian Bell face a stiff challenge this morning, however, against Lee and Cummins. The pacy duo may be at contrasting points in their respective careers, but both are certain to be operating around the 90mph mark.
10:15am - AUSTRALIA WIN THE TOSS AND BOWL - Michael Clarke calls correctly and, perhaps with the overhead conditions in mind, opts to insert the hosts. Australia name the same XI that featured in their previous outing against Essex. England, as predicted, are also unchanged and Alastair Cook reveals he would have liked to bowl first.
10:10am – There was no shortage of sporting drama yesterday, what with Rafael Nadal’s shock defeat at Wimbledon and Italy’s 2-1 victory over Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-finals. Hopefully this match can provide similar thrills and spills. The last time I covered an ODI at Lord’s, Ravi Bopara struck 96 in an absorbing tie with India.
10:03am - Not too long now until the two teams are announced. England are expected to stick with their policy of fielding four seamers alongside Graeme Swann, meaning Tim Bresnan is set to bat at number seven. Australia, meanwhile, are likely to unleash teenage sensation Pat Cummins, who, along with the evergreen Brett Lee, can send the ball down at a fair lick.
9:55am - This promises to be a wonderful battle. England have won six home one-day series in a row, while the tourists are the number-one ranked team in the 50-over format and warmed up for today’s game with a convincing victory over Essex at Chelmsford on Tuesday.
9:45am - Good morning from Lord’s, the iconic home of cricket, and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live text coverage of the opening NatWest Series one-day international between England and Australia. It’s a muggy old morning in the capital, but hopefully the rain will stay away and allow us a full day’s play.