England romped to a 172-run win in the traditional one-day game with an Australia Prime Minister’s XI at Canberra.
The tourists posted a respectable 264 for eight after choosing to bat first in the 50-over-a-side day/night match, thanks chiefly to fifties from Gary Ballance and Jos Buttler in stiflingly hot conditions.
Alastair Cook’s team then skittled their opponents for 92 in 26 overs, Ravi Bopara running through the lower order for remarkable figures of 4-3 from three overs in front of Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
England’s selection reflected an intent to with their second game of a disappointing tour, with Michael Carberry and James Tredwell the two changes from Sunday’s six-wicket defeat to Australia in the opening one-day international. Ian Bell and Ben Stokes were rested.
The first innings was pieced together on a slow Manuka Oval outfield thanks to two half-century stands. Carberry and Ballance added 75 after the early exits of Cook and Joe Root, before an 80-run combination between Buttler and Tim Bresnan lifted the tourists from 149 for six.
Cook and Root fell cheaply to former Australia paceman Brett Lee, who was leading the hosts.
The 37-year-old reminded England of his best days from the outset as he saw a strong shout for caught behind against Carberry turned down, before enticing an edge from Cook to a short ball that wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb held. Root was then on the end of a rough lbw decision playing back in his crease.
Carberry struck a fluent 47 from 50 deliveries, most pointedly taking the attack to the home bowling once Lee opted for a rest. He survived a dropped chance on 10, top-edging a pull off Lee but, when he made the same mistake against Ben Cutting trying to reach a half-century, it was Lee who held on at mid-on.
Eoin Morgan and Bopara went to leg-spinner James Muirhead, who took 3-52, the former bowled leg stump through the gate and the latter making 18.
Ballance confidently reached his second successive half-century, but on 56 became the leg-spinner’s third victim to leave England six down in the 30th over.
Buttler was then lucky not to go first ball, playing back to a Muirhead delivery that skidded into his pads, but with Bresnan he made the most of the reprieve to build an innings.
The wicketkeeper-batsman turned the strike over and worked the ball into the wide expanses of the outfield – hitting just four boundaries on the way to reaching a run-a-ball fifty.
Bresnan ably complied with Buttler’s tactics as they forged a partnership that ensured England’s bowlers had plenty to defend, registering 36 and 61 respectively. Buttler was bowled by Jackson Bird and Alister McDermott accounted for Bresnan, leaving Chris Jordan and Tredwell to see the innings through.
A home line-up short on batting needed their top-order to fire, but crashed to 24 for three.
Jordan removed Handscomb, who played on, before Boyd Rankin had Luke Pomersbach and Ben McDermott caught behind the wicket.
Veteran Brad Hodge was the last recognised batsman but, after a brisk 28, picked out Carberry on the midwicket rope off Tredwell.
That sparked a collapse of five wickets for 19 runs, with Bopara cashing in on the brittle batting, before Lee provided some late entertainment for the home fans.
He smashed Rankin into the Don Bradman Stand over square-leg, but Bopara stopped his fun by locating the veteran’s off stump.
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