England's ODI series with Australia finally got underway after the first match of five was washed out by the Headingley rain—and it was the tourists who took the lead after a convincing 88-run victory.
England opted to field first on a glorious day in the north west, and despite a wicket in the first over, it was a decision Eoin Morgan's side might have regretted by the time that Australia had piled on 315 for seven wickets in their 50 overs. Michael Clarke was the star of the show with 105, ably supported by George Bailey (82).
The hosts' start was far from encouraging, with wickets falling early, and despite half-centuries from Kevin Pietersen, Morgan and Jos Buttler, they were scarcely on terms with the chase.
The two sides will clash in the next game on Wednesday.
Here's the story of the match:
Had Steven Finn accounted for Shane Watson in the first over, the match might have taken a different complexion. He had already removed Shaun Marsh the ball before, and while Watson was given out on-field, a probable inside edge saved him on review.
From almost 0-2 it was smooth sailing for Australia—the hosts' experimental lineup was punished by a series of in-form Australia batsmen.
Watson (38) and Aaron Finch (45) got the innings on track before Bailey and Clarke combined to devastating effect, picking on spinner James Tredwell with some brutality.
By the time their partnership ended after 155 runs, the tourists were in control, and although Boyd Rankin bagged a couple of late wickets, including Clarke after his 102-ball century, they marched on to post 315.
Mitchell Johnson spelt trouble for England with a hostile and accurate spell with the new ball, claiming the early wickets of Michael Carberry (four) and Jonathan Trott (zero).
Joe Root's laboured 15 ball did not point at a recovery either, but Pietersen took it upon himself to steady the innings.
Can England fight back and win the series?
His dismissal after a punchy 66-ball 60, driving a low catch to the covers off the bowling of Watson, sapped the confidence of England, and Morgan lost partners as he built his own innings.
When he holed out to become one of Clint McKay's three victims, the game looked well out of England's reach at 154 for six, but Buttler (75 from 65) added some gloss to the scoreline with some lusty late hitting.
It was his first half-century for England, but in a lost cause, as England were bowled out with 5.4 of their 50 overs still left.
Here's the scorecard, courtesy of the BBC:
Australia Innings 315 for 7 (50.0 overs)
|S Marsh||c Buttler||b Finn||0||3||4||0||0|
|Finch||c Root||b Tredwell||45||98||45||4||1|
|Watson||c Buttler||b Bopara||38||51||51||6||1|
|Clarke||c Buttler||b Rankin||105||141||102||14||0|
|Bailey||c Tredwell||b Bopara||82||88||67||5||4|
|Faulkner||c Morgan||b Finn||18||12||11||2||1|
|Extras||1nb 2w 1b 1lb||5|
|Total||for 7||315||(50.0 ovs)|
|Fall of Wicket|
England Innings 227 all out (44.2 overs)
|Pietersen||c Faulkner||b Watson||60||95||66||6||2|
|Carberry||c Clarke||b Johnson||4||16||11||1||0|
|Trott||c Wade||b Johnson||0||1||0||0|
|Morgan||c Clarke||b McKay||54||99||69||4||0|
|Bopara||c and b Voges||1||4||7||0||0|
|Buttler||c Johnson||b Ahmed||75||85||65||5||3|
|Stokes||c Bailey||b McKay||5||11||7||0||0|
|Tredwell||run out (Finch)||1||2||1||0||0|
|Finn||c Voges||b McKay||16||36||23||1||1|
|Extras||0nb 6w 0b 1lb||7|
|Total||all out||227||(44.2 ovs)|
|Fall of Wicket|