Captain Morgan off to a flier as batsmen thrive

 
Ross McLean
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Morgan oversaw England’s 216-run victory
ENGLAND spinner James Tredwell toasted a smooth start to Eoin Morgan’s captaincy as his side dismantled an Australian Capital Territory XI by 216 runs in their tour opener in Canberra yesterday.

Five batsmen – Ian Bell, Moeen Ali, James Taylor, Joe Root and Ravi Bopara – posted half-centuries, while all-rounder Chris Woakes finished unbeaten on 45, as England amassed an imposing 364-6 from their 50-over allocation.

Tredwell was the pick of the bowlers with 3-11 as England routed their hosts for just 148, while Stuart Broad and Moeen chipped in with two wickets apiece.

Victory was the perfect way for England to start their three-month tour, which includes a tri-series against hosts Australia and India as well as the World Cup, although Tredwell acknowledges future matches will prove the acid test of Morgan’s leadership after replacing the sacked Alastair Cook.

“[Morgan’s captaincy] wasn’t a great deal different to be honest, but obviously we weren’t put under as much pressure as we may be in other games on the tour,” said Tredwell. “That will be the time we’ll see some differences I’m sure. But it was a great way to get going.”

Perhaps most noteworthy for England’s World Cup prospects was the return of pace duo James Anderson and Broad, who both played their first cricket since the summer following knee injuries.

Broad required surgery but showed no ill-effects as he claimed 2-25 from seven overs while Anderson took 1-24, with the pair set to be monitored ahead of Wednesday’s clash with a strong Prime Minister’s XI. “Clearly both of them are feeling their way back to a degree, but they both bowled pretty nicely,” added Tredwell. “The wicket did slow up a little bit so it was a good chance for them to get their one-day skills out.”

England Lions skipper Jonathan Trott, meanwhile, ended day two against South Africa A 57 not out after guiding his side to 169-3 at stumps in response to their hosts’ first innings total of 504-8 declared.