London, Jun 30: Eoin Morgan's brisk 89 not out led England to a 15-run victory over Australia in the opening One Day International of the five-match series here at the Lord's cricket ground on Friday.
[Scorecard: Lord's ODI]
Morgan's 63-ball unbeaten knock pushed England to 272 for five in 50 overs. Chasing this target, Australia were helped by half centuries from captain Michael Clarke and David Warner, but fell short by 15 runs. They ended with 257/9 in 50 overs.
Australia's eight wickets fell for pace while the other was a run out, that of Matthew Wade. Steven Finn, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan captured two wickets apiece.
After a cautious start, Australia were reduced to 147/5 in 32.5 overs. However, Clarke was still in the middle and as long as the skipper was there, Australia stayed alive in the match. But Bresnan removed Clarke for 61. At the time, Australia were 214/7 in 43 overs. With his departure, the hosts heaved a sigh of relief.
Towards the end, Brett Lee swung his bat, but run rate was out of his reach. Lee remained 29 not out off 21 balls with four boundaries.
Clarke scores six fours and a six in his 67-ball 61. Warner's 61-ball 56 contained six hits to the fence and one over the boundary rope.
Earlier, England's run rate accelerated towards the final overs, thanks to Morgan's magnificent knock. The left-hander smashed four sixes and five boundaries. Jonathan Trott also contributed a half century, scoring 54.
England have taken a 1-0 lead in the series and the second of the exchanges will be on July 1, Sunday at The Oval.
"For Eoin (Morgan) to score at a strike rate of 130 or 140 is an incredible innings. It was hard work to start with at the top of the batting order, the ball was nipping around a bit, but what was pleasing is that we didn't panic. We kept wickets in hand and it worked well," said winning captain Alastair Cook.
Man-of-the-match Morgan said: "I think we were quite comfortable. The only worry was the wicket was a lot better with the sun that had been on it in the afternoon, but the control the guys have in the team is fantastic and they bowled really well."