MANCHESTER: Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood insisted it was a case of ‘onwards and upwards’ after he starred in a 19-run win over world champions England in the first of three One-day International at Old Trafford on Friday (partly reported in Saturday’s edition).
Hazlewood took a miserly 3-26 from his maximum 10 overs that stifled England’s pursuit of a target of 295 from the outset, removing opener Jason Roy and Test skipper Joe Root for single figure scores as the hosts limped to 22-2 off the first 10 overs.
This was Australia’s first 50-over match against England since a crushing eight-wicket defeat by their arch-rivals in the semi-finals of last year’s World Cup at Edgbaston.
Hazlewood, however, didn’t play in that match after being controversially omitted from the World Cup squad, with the selectors instead wanting him to regain full fitness following a back injury for the subsequent Test series in England, where Australia retained the Ashes in a 2-2 draw.
Asked if the way he bowled on Friday made his World Cup absence all the more painful, man-of-the-match Hazlewood replied: “Nah it’s onwards and upwards. That’s a long time ago now, so always looking forward.”
The 29-year-old was close to unplayable during a stunning opening spell of two wickets for five runs in six overs.
“England’s top order is probably the form top order in the world in the last three or four years, so I guess going against them is a good measure of where you’re at,” Hazlewood said after what was just Australia’s third win in 14 ODIs against their oldest foe. “To keep them down to 20-odd for two in the first 10 was great.”
Sam Billings kept England in the game with 118, his maiden ODI hundred, after sharing a century partnership with Jonny Bairstow (84) following the hosts’ collapse to 57-4.
Billings, having ‘ramped’ a boundary off left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc, pulled a four off Pat Cummins at the start of the penultimate over to complete a 101-ball hundred.
But a target of 28 off the last over, from Mitchell Marsh, proved too much and Billings was dismissed off the last ball of the match, having surpassed his previous ODI best of 67 not out against Ireland at Southampton in July.
Billings was the only member of England’s XI on Friday not involved in the World Cup squad, with his inclusion owing much to star all-rounder Ben Stokes still being on compassionate leave with his ill father in New Zealand.
BOWLING: Woakes 10-0-59-1 (1w); Archer 10-0-57-3 (3w); Wood 10-0-54-3 (1w); Moeen Ali 10-0-59-0; Adil Rashid 10-0-55-2.
BOWLING: Starc 10-0-47-0 (1w); Hazlewood 10-3-26-3 (1w); Cummins 10-0-74-1 (1w); Zampa 10-0-55-4 (1w); Marsh 5-1-29-1; Maxwell 3-0-19-0 (1w); Stoinis 2-0-15-0 (1nb).
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