Langer’s reign as coach be­gins with loss to Eng­land

Daily News - - SPORT -

LONDON: Aus­tralia made a stut­ter­ing start to coach Justin Langer’s ten­ure as they lost by three wick­ets to Eng­land in the open­ing match of the one-day se­ries at The Oval yes­ter­day.

Only Glenn Maxwell im­pressed as Aus­tralia bat­ted first, scor­ing 62 as the tour­ing side lost reg­u­lar wick­ets and were bowled out for a medi­ocre 214 in the 47th over.

Eng­land made a meal of reach­ing the low tar­get, how­ever, and when Eoin Mor­gan (69), Jos Buttler and Joe Root (50) fell in the space of three overs the hosts were wob­bling on 163-6.

David Wil­ley eased Eng­land home, fin­ish­ing the match off with a boom­ing six.

Sheets of sand­pa­per with “4” and “6” printed on them were handed out on the ap­proaches to the Oval – a re­minder of the ball-tam­per­ing scan­dal that en­gulfed Aus­tralian cricket this year and cost Steve Smith the cap­taincy.

Langer’s new-look Aus­tralian bat­ting lineup made an in­aus­pi­cious start. Maxwell, who struck a 52-ball half cen­tury, shared an 84-run stand with Ash­ton Agar for the sixth wicket to raise Aus­tralian hopes of a chal­leng­ing to­tal.

But Maxwell top-edged Liam Plun­kett to deep square leg where Jonny Bairstow took the sim­plest of catches and Agar was plumb lbw to Adil Rashid be­fore Plun­kett and Mark Wood mopped up the tail.

Billy Stan­lake bowled Ja­son Roy for a duck in Eng­land’s re­ply and when Bairstow was caught on the bound­ary Eng­land were 38 for three.

Mor­gan and Root put Eng­land in to­tal con­trol be­fore the hosts stum­bled over the line.

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