Australian opener David Warner led his team to an emphatic three-wicket win over England in the opening one-day international of the triangular series at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.Â (Blog | Scorecard)
The powerful left-hander's commanding century cancelled out a long overdue ton by new England skipper Eoin Morgan to help the Australians earn a bonus point for reaching the target inside 40 overs.
Morgan's lone hand of 121 off 136 balls with 11 fours and three sixes enabled England to recover from a disastrous start to make 234 in 47.5 overs.
Warner then made 127, breaking his own drought with his first one-day international ton since back-to-back hundreds against Sri Lanka in 2012, as Australia cruised to the victory target with 61 balls to spare, finishing on 235 for seven from 39.5 overs.
Warner faced 115 balls, hitting 18 fours, and fell when just eight runs were needed to win and Australia was chasing the bonus point.
England have now won just three of their last 14 one-day internationals as they head towards next month's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
In the first match of the triangular series, which also features India, Morgan won the toss in his first game as skipper since replacing Alastair Cook and elected to bat.
His sixth one-day century for England helped the tourists put on a defendable total before being dismissed in 47.5 overs.
Morgan was the only England batsman to score over 30.
The century ended a dry run for Morgan, as it was his first century in his past 20 one-day innings, which had included just one prior half-century.
He brought up his ton by lofting James Faulkner (3-47) over cover from the 127th ball he faced, having hit nine fours and two sixes.
Morgan had to save the innings after a top-order collapse and strode to the wicket with his side in strife at 12 for three.
The home side struck with the very first ball, with Ian Bell trapped lbw by left-armer Mitchell Starc for a duck.
Worse was to come for England when Bell's replacement at the crease, James Taylor, was also adjudged lbw for a duck two balls later.
Morgan arrived after Joe Root was caught by Shane Watson from the bowling of Pat Cummins for just five.
The captain was eventually the ninth man to fall, in the push for late runs, holing out to Glenn Maxwell at deep mid-wicket from the bowling of Starc in the 48th over.
The England innings was wrapped up one ball later, when Steven Finn was clean bowled by a Starc yorker.
Starc finished the innings with 4-42 from 8.5 overs and claimed man-of-the-match honours.
Left-arm speedster Mitchell Starc produced two superb in-swingers to trap Ian Bell lbw with the first ball of the match and James Taylor, identically, two balls later.
England was 12-3 when Joe Root (5) departed soon after, and Morgan - who has replaced Alastair Cook as one-day skipper - was at the crease in the fourth over.
Morgan was justifiably watchful in the early part of his innings, using 88 balls to reach his fifty but was more aggressive later, needing only 39 more deliveries to reach a century; his sixth for England after one for Ireland.
Few England batsmen displayed Morgan's determination until wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, with 28 from 60 balls, shared a partnership of 67 for the sixth wicket after the visitors had slumped to 69-5.
Opener Moeen Ali watched from the non-striker's end as his first two partners vanished within the first three balls of the innings. His response was to try to hit England out of its early crisis and he hit two fours and a six before he was out for 22 from 21 balls.
Australia captain George Bailey set a brilliant trap for Ali: putting Glenn Maxwell at deep mid-off, and Ali hit a mistimed shot straight to him off a James Faulkner short ball.
Ravi Bopara made 13, then hit the third ball of spinner Xavier Doherty's first over to Maxwell at backward point. Maxwell finished with four catches, also contributing to the dismissals of Chris Jordan for 17 and, finally, Morgan for 121 when England was nine down.
Australia's bowlers, especially Doherty and Faulkner, kept tight lines and prevented Morgan and his partners hitting out or even accumulating steadily through the middle overs of the innings.
The lack of a late-order player capable of playing a forceful innings to change the course of the innings is a concern for England heading toward next month's World Cup.
Faulkner bowled superbly, claiming the wickets of Ali and Buttler and containing England when it needed to acclerate its scoring. His use of a slower ball which arced and turned was impressive.
He finished with 3-47 while Starc returned to take two wickets in the last over of the innings and finish with 4-42.