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Australia beats England by 112 runs in tri-series final

February 1, 2015

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Glenn Maxwell scored 95 and took 4-46 Sunday to spur Australia to a 112-run win over England in the final of the one-day international tri-series.

Maxwell led Australia to 278-8 as it batted first after losing the toss, then had the opportunity of a hat trick as it bowled out England for 166 to boost its preparation for the Cricket World Cup.

Mitchell Johnson also had the chance of a hat trick, dismissing Moeen Ali (26) and England captain Eoin Morgan with consecutive deliveries to finish with 3-27 in an explosive return to the Australia team.

The one discordant note for Australia was an injury to all rounder James Faulkner. Faulkner scored an unbeaten 50 from 24 balls, completing his half century with a six from the last ball of the innings, and took 1-11 before being forced from the field with a side strain.

England made an ineffective bid to chase down Australia’s total and to boost its own confidence ahead of the next meeting between the teams, in Melbourne on the opening day of the World Cup. It lost wickets in clusters that robbed its innings of momentum and it was finally all out in 39.1 overs.

England lost Ian Bell (8) at 18 and James Taylor, who guided its successful run chase against India on Friday, for 4 at 35-2. Ali fell to a ball from Johnson that reared alarmingly and that he fended to slip at 46-3, then Morgan fell first ball, offering no shot to a ball that cut back from outside off to bowl him.

Joe Root was trapped lbw by Faulkner to leave England 71-5 in the 20th over and England’s efforts to rebuild the innings suffered a major setback when Jos Buttler (17) and Chris Woakes fell to consecutive balls from Maxwell in the 25th over when England was on 98.

Buttler was caught by Pat Cummins, who had just taken the field as an injury substitute for Faulkner, and Woakes was caught and bowled first ball, continuing a woeful match in which he conceded 89 runs from his 10 overs.

Stuart Broad hit 24 from 30 balls, including two sixes, before he was also caught by Cummins to give Maxwell his third wicket and he then dismissed Ravi Bopara for the innings’ top-score of 33.

Earlier, Maxwell shared a 141-run partnership with Mitch Marsh (6) that steered Australia to a solid 278-8 after it had been sent in to bat.

Maxwell beat his previous-highest score in one-day internationals of 93 and broke a recent scoring drought with an innings that rallied Australia after it had been 60-4 in the 18th over. The half century was Maxwell’s first in nine innings and followed his previous scores in the tri-series of 0, 20 and 37, adding another tick to Australia’s preparation for the Cricket World Cup.

After reaching 95 by hitting Woakes for four fours in five balls in the 40th over, Maxwell tried to reach his century with a single shot, top-edged a hook off Broad and was caught by Buttler.

“It was nice to do that (anchor) role,” Maxwell said. “I’ve screwed it up a few times for us so it was nice to get through to that 40th over and give us a good platform to launch.

“James Faulkner just showed his class in finishing the innings off so well for us. I’ve just got to keep trying to get past that three-figure mark. It’s not something I’m thinking of too much.”

Marsh made a sound 60 in his first innings in the tri-series, compiling his fourth half century in one-day internationals from 64 balls before being run out in the 44th over.

James Anderson had bowled an outstanding opening spell of six overs, two of which were maidens and from which he took 2-11. But the pressure England tried to impose was lessened by a poor opening spell from Woakes, who took the other new ball and conceded 29 runs from four overs.

Steve Smith steadied the Australia innings after the loss of Finch and David Warner (12) who also fell to a ball from Anderson that he fended to James Taylor at backward point.

Captain George Bailey fell for 2, to a sharply rising delivery from Broad that flew to Taylor in an unusual, bat-pad catching position.

Smith batted calmly through that period, scoring 40 from 50 balls to lift Australia to 60-4 before Maxwell took charge of the innings.

Anderson finished with 2-38 and Broad 3-55.

“I think we could have kept Australia to a few less,” Morgan said. “I think we had the best of the batting surface so 270 was certainly within our grasp. But we didn’t help ourselves out with some of the decisions we made and the shots we played. Our batting let us down today.”

Morgan said England would improve before its World Cup rematch with Australia.

“In the three or four weeks we’ve been here we’ve made huge strides and a lot of credit goes to the guys,” he said. “The individual performances they’ve put in have led us to this final.”

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