England v Australia: Moeen Ali & Eoin Morgan impress as hosts edge win
England made heavy work of a run-chase before eventually completing a three-wicket win over Australia in the first one-day international at The Oval.
Chasing 215 for victory, the home side were reduced to 38-3.
And, after Eoin Morgan and Joe Root shared 115, they lost three wickets for 10 runs to slip to 163-6 in the face of some excellent Australia pace bowling.
However, David Willey made an unbeaten 35 to secure victory with six overs to spare.
Australia were playing their first ODI since the ball-tampering scandal resulted in bans for Steve Smith and David Warner, as well as the resignation of coach Darren Lehmann.
New Australia captain Tim Paine introduced a pre-series handshake between the two teams, then saw his side struggle against England’s spinners.
Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid took five wickets between them and, after Australia fell to 90-5, they needed Glenn Maxwell (62) and Ashton Agar (42) to drag them to 214 all out.
That did not seem enough on a blameless surface but England’s two mini-collapses kept the contest interesting long into the London evening.
The second game in the five-match series is in Cardiff on Saturday.
England return to winning ways against new-look Aussies
England – the world number ones – were well below their best in suffering a first defeat by Scotland in a run-filled contest in Edinburgh on Sunday.
Here, they were vastly improved with the ball but repeated some of the wasteful batting that cost them at The Grange.
Even if Australia had been at full strength, England would have been favourites for this series – they won the winter ODIs 4-1 after being outplayed in the Ashes.
As well as suspended former captain Smith and his deputy Warner, injuries have robbed the tourists of pace trio Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
Their inexperienced side, from which only Paine and Shaun Marsh were playing in the South Africa Test when the ball-tampering took place, were given the occasional reminder of the controversy.
One company handed out advertisements on sandpaper at nearby tube stations, while a handful of spectators waved more sheets at Australian boundary fielders.