Australia opened its World Cup with an emphatic 111-run win over England on Saturday, with Mitch Marsh claiming five wickets after Aaron Finch smashed an aggressive century to set the hosts on course for a big total.
Finch scored 135 and Glenn Maxwell (66) and captain George Bailey (55) posted half centuries in front of a crowd of more than 84,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to guide Australia through an early collapse and to a total of 342-9.
England\’s chase barely got started before Mitchell Starc (2-47) claimed the wicket of Moeen Ali (10), then Marsh (5-33) ran through the top order.
In a bizarre end to the match, James Taylor (98 not out) had an lbw decision overturned on review to the third umpire, only for James Anderson to then be given out — also on review — at the other end.
After the loss of Ali, Gary Ballance (10) was caught by Finch at short mid-wicket in the 10th over off Marsh, who claimed Ian Bell for 36 and Joe Root for 5 with consecutive deliveries three overs later.
Captain Eoin Morgan\’s run of poor form continued when he was out without scoring, getting an edge off the toe of his bat to diving wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. That gave Marsh his fourth wicket and left England reeling at 73-5. Morgan has now made three ducks from his last four innings.
Jos Buttler (12) became Marsh\’s fifth victim after Steve Smith took an athletic, diving catch at short cover.
Chris Woakes batted well for 37 until he was caught by Smith off Mitchell Johnson (2-36 ), who joined with Starc to clear out the tailenders.
"Everyone contributed," Finch said. "It\’s a great feeling to get this first one out of the way and hopefully take a lot of momentum for the rest of the tournament."
After Morgan won the toss and sent four-time champion Australia in to bat, Stuart Broad (2-66) made an early breakthrough with two wickets on consecutive balls when he bowled David Warner with a yorker and then had Shane Watson out edging.
Smith (5) was out chopping on an in-swinging Woakes (1-65) delivery.
Finch anchored the Australian recovery in his 128-ball knock. The result could have been very different if Woakes had been able to hold a simple catch off Finch at square-leg in the first over with the opener yet to score.
"You just try and put out of your mind," Finch said of his near miss.
Bailey made a vital half century after joining Finch with Australia floundering on 70-3, sharing a 146-run fourth-wicket partnership.
Maxwell powered the final 10 overs, in which Haddin had 31 off 14 balls and Marsh made 23 from 20.
Steven Finn (5-71) completed a five-wicket haul with a hat trick off the last three balls, having Marsh, Maxwell and Johnson all caught out swinging in the pursuit of quick runs.