Australia Beat England To Set-Up Perfect World Cup Road
In a dress rehearsal of their opening game of the 2015 World Cup, Australia beat England by 112 runs in the tri-series final and set up a confident build-up to the next two months as they prepare to play co-hosts along with New Zealand.
The visitors were bowled out for just 166 as they tried to chase down Australia’s 278 for eight.
Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell expressed satisfaction in the manner he decimated the English challenge, scoring 95 runs and then taking four wickets during the chase.
“I think both sides of my game were pretty good today, finally,” said Maxwell on Sunday.
“The bat’s let me down a fair bit. I thought I have been bowling pretty well in the last 12 months.
"It was nice to put in a good all-round performance. I thought the whole team was pretty much outstanding.
"After the little collapse at the start, from then on we really dominated the game all the way through,” added Maxwell.
Australia were 60 for four at one stage and Maxwell put on 141 runs for the fifth wicket with Mitchell Marsh (60) as they dug their side out of trouble.
Afterwards James Faulkner hit a breezy fifty, the match was pushed beyond England’s reach.
“I think when you have those situations, when you get out early you think all the bad luck you had.
"I think the last two times that I have had the opportunities early at the WACA, I chopped on both occasions really early for a duck.
"You sort of think about that, if you just get past that a little bit of bad luck and you could be away. I had a couple of chop-ons today that went close to the stumps. They miss the stumps and all of a sudden, you are away.
"So it’s a little of luck in the game, I felt it was with me today and it’s nice to get through that,” said Maxwell.
But luck didn’t last long enough for him to get a maiden One-Day International hundred as he fell for 95 runs.
“Yeah, I was a little bit annoyed that I didn’t bat till the last 10 overs.
"I think I did a lot of the hard to work to get myself to that stage, allow myself to have that bit of fun at the end where I could express myself and take advantage of the team that I had basically negated for 20 overs.
"So I felt like I earned the right to bat in the last 10 overs and to get out in a pretty soft way,” he added.
Mitchell Johnson took three quick wickets to deflate the English top-order but skipper Eoin Morgan didn’t accept that the fast bowler had any long-term impact on his side.
“I don’t think he swung it. I think that the guys up front bowled well, swung it a little bit.
"But again, we must have put ourselves under pressure but I don’t know why we performed like this today.
"We will reassess over the next few days and come back stronger hopefully. But again, it’s not all doom and gloom.
"In order to get to this final, we have played some really good cricket.
"Individual performances stood out like sore thumbs – Steve Finn, Ian Bell in particular have been brilliant,” Morgan said.
“Winning the toss and bowling first and having them four down early was obviously brilliant but then they had a good partnership in the middle.
"They played well but it also encouraged us that the batting surface was getting better and that we could chase down anything under 300.
"It is disappointing, having been beaten in that fashion,” he added.
When asked to reply to Morgan’s comments that the tearaway fast bowler was not a threat, Maxwell replied, “Mitchell did it, so he should be. He had three for 11 at one stage and tore through their top order.
"So they can be not worried at all but if they are getting skittled by him, they probably should be.”
It provided good banter between the two sides who will now build-up to their opening clash in the World Cup in two weeks’ time.
“I think we are in a very good place. We set ourselves a goal to win every game from now on for the rest of the summer.
"We have done that very well so far, we have played some very good cricket across this tri-series.
"We have won games in different ways and different people have stood up. I think everyone’s in a pretty good place heading to the World Cup,” Maxwell said.
“I think the pressure builds on Australia from that perspective," said Morgan.
"They are the home side, first game of the World Cup, playing against a dangerous side.
We are going out with all guns blazing and there is no pressure from our point of view,” Morgan signed off.
© Cricket World 2015