Melbourne, Jan 14 (IANS) Opener Jason Roy blasted 180 in 151 balls to hand England a comfortable five-wicket win against Australia in the first One Day International match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground here on Sunday.
After opener Aaron Finch (107) guided Australia to 304/8 in their allotted 50 overs, Roy responded with a brilliant ton, fourth of his career, to help his team overhaul the target in the penultimate over.
Chasing a challenging target, England started off on a positive note. Openers Roy and Jonny Bairstow (14) helped their team to cross the 50-run mark in the fifth over.
But soon, Mitchell Starc dismissed Bairstow. After adding a few more runs to the board, Alex Hales (4) also departed. He was dismissed by Pat Cummins when the team total was 60 runs.
Incoming batsmen Joe Root and Roy then shared a 221-run partnership, the second-largest at the MCG. In the process, Roy registered the highest score by an Englishman in Australia and the highest by any batsman at the venue, topping Mark Waugh’s 173 against the West Indies in 2001.
In the 42nd over, Roy was dismissed by Starc. But it was too late because the visitors were at 281. His 151-ball innings was laced with 16 boundaries and five sixes.
After the fall of Roy’s wicket, Root played sensibly but skipper Eoin Morgan (1) and Jos Buttler (4) failed to make their mark at the other end. With just three runs needed, Moeen Ali (5) came in to the middle and completed the formalities.
For Australia, Starc and Cummins scalped two wickets each.
Earlier, Australia scored 304/8 with Finch, Mitchell Marsh (50) and Marcus Stoinis (60) contributing handsomely.
For England, Liam Plunkett took three wickets and Adil Rashid chipped in with a brace.