London:Two weeks after losing the Ashes, Australia beat England by four runs in the first of their seven One-Day Internationals on Friday.
England's spinners did well to restrict Australia to 260-5 at The Oval but the tourists got an even firmer grip on the English run rate until a late flourish dragged the home side to 256-8.
England was jeered by the crowd for its slow scoring before a seventh-wicket blitz of 46 from 33 balls from Luke Wright and Adil Rashid made the score competitive.
Mitchell Johnson took three wickets in a 13-ball spell that cost just five runs to finish with 3-24.
The target had looked attainable on a slow pitch but England quickly fell behind Australia's scoring rate as none of the top-order batsmen could build a game-changing score.
Only Wright, with 38 from 27 balls, Rashid and No. 10 batsman Ryan Sidebottom seemed to fully get to grips with the conditions and situation.
In a sign of the difficulty facing batsmen on both sides, the only six of the match came from Wright in the 41st over of England's innings.
Ravi Bopara was the home team's leading scorer with a sluggardly 49 off 88 balls but his miserable summer, which included just 105 runs in seven Ashes innings and omission from England's series-deciding victory, continued with a stumping off the bowling of Nathan Hauritz.
England had lost captain Andrew Strauss (12), only playing because of the injury sustained in training by Joe Denly, and dawdled to 83-1 when Johnson at point plucked a reverse sweep by Matthew Prior out of the air to get rid of the No. 3 for 28.
Paul Collingwood survived a run out chance off the first ball he faced in a mix up with Owais Shah, who scored 40 off 48 deliveries before the need to hurry meant he trod on his wicket trying to work a delivery by Johnson down the leg side.
With Bopara already out, Collingwood, seemingly reacting to jeers at the turgid scoring from the crowd, lashed out at Johnson to be dismissed for 23 from 39 balls thanks to Shane Watson's two-handed catch above his head.
Stuart Broad managed 2 from five balls before becoming Johnson's third victim, but with Rashid alongside him, Wright started hitting out to finally give an agitated crowd a few cheers. Wright was run out off a no ball and Sidebottom's subsequent seven-ball 13 was in vain.
Rashid ended with 31 from 23 deliveries and also showed promise with the ball in his first ODI against a test nation.
His figures of 10-0-37-0 helped limit the Australians, alongside Graeme Swann and Collingwood, who took two wickets.