England survive batting wobble to see off Australia and hold onto No.1 world ODI ranking

A three-wicket win was far closer than it should have been

England survived a batting wobble to see off the Aussies and hold on to their No.1 status.

A three-wicket win was far closer than it should have been with England hunting down the slender target of 215 to go 1-0 up in the five match series.

They had learnt their Scottish lesson and they had their senior men, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root and man-of-the-match Moeen Ali to thank most, but they'll know it could have been easier.

David Willey was the key man at the end to see the team home with 35 not out, finishing the game with a towering straight six, but it shouldn't have been left to him.

Morgan had batted beautifully for his 69 while Root was imperious at reaching 50, but a loss of three more wicket for 10 runs provided a bit of a scare.

Morgan said: “I'm very pleased with the win particularly with the bowling. I thought they were outstanding today and the spinners did a great job as they have done for a few years.

“We were good in parts and to win the game when you're not as good as you can be is a great thing.

“Joe is a genius and he is very calm at the crease. Nothing is unachievable when he's there and he's a huge part of our team, and Moeen always gives you an option and he's had a great day today.

“The Scotland game made us hone our skills a little bit. You never like losing but we did take the lesson from it.”

England's bowlers were warned by Morgan that conceding more than 370 had to be a one off. And they responded.

First through Willey who got the ball to swing, and then through their spin twins Ali and Adil Rashid who reinforced the view that the Aussie batsmen struggle against spin.

Between them they bowled 20 overs and took 5-79 as they convinced the Aussie lineup to play a selection of daft and dozy shots.

None more ill-disciplined than that of their skipper Tim Paine who wants his actions to speak louder than words. As he reverse-swept Rashid straight to short-third man those actions screamed 'brainless!'

It was only a short while ago that the disgraced Steve Smith was lecturing Glenn Maxwell on his training habits after axing him from the squad, here it was up to 'the Big Show' to rescue the innings.

His 62 at least gave his bowlers something to defend, but it was never going to be enough with the depth of England's batting and this time they got over the line with six overs to spare.

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