Australia v England at Melbourne Australia beat England by 111 Runs
The co-hosts out-played England in every way to start their ICC World Cup campaign in impressive fashion, following the comfortable victory by 111 runs.
Player of the Game went to Australian opener Aaron Finch, who smashed 135 in powering his team to 342 for 9.
Glenn Maxwell (66) and George Bailey (55) both scored half-centuries to help setup the big target.
In the end, England were bowled out for 231 off 41.5 overs, with James Taylor leading the way with 98 not out.
Mitchell Marsh was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with five wickets for 33 runs off nine overs.
“It was a special occasion and in front of a great crowd it was a superb game of cricket,” Bailey said after the win. “We were very happy to bat first and we feel like we have a really strong batting line up so it was good to get runs on the board.
“Finchy rose to the occasion and that’s exactly what we want from our top order. Mitchell Marsh was superb, outstanding and really broke the game open for us.”
New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Christchurch Update
New Zealand won by 98 runs – Scoreboard
The co-hosts opened the 2015 World Cup Cricket tournament on a winning note after beating Sri Lanka by 98 runs at Christchurch.
New Zealand, sent in to bat first reached 331 for 6 of their 50 overs with Man-of-the-Match Corey Anderson top scoring with 75 runs.
In reply, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 233 off 46.1 overs, with Anderson taking two wickets.
Australia v England Match 2 Update:
England and Australia players are both out at the MCG going through their respective fitness routine ahead of the second game of Pool A.
After an overnight shower, the sun is now out and the game looks well set to go ahead without any delay. England fast bowler Stuart Broad says all the players are pumped up about the opening game against Australia and will be hoping to silence the hope supporters early in the contest.
New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Christchurch Update
New Zealand made 331 for six off their allotted 50 overs after being put in to bat by Sri Lanka in the opening game of the 2015 ICC World Cup Cricket tournament.
Brendon McCullum (65), Kane Williamson (57) and Corey Anderson (75) all scored half-centuries for the Black Caps, who have never lost a game “AT HOME” after making 300 runs.
Australia v England
World Cup 2015 Pool A, Match 2 Update:
Early team news from England is suggesting that all-rounder Ravi Bopara is the main who will miss out against Australia, with top-order batsman Gary Balance set to be handed a place in the starting team.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has won the first toss of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup and has elected to bowl first.
New Zealand, which comes into the tournament with perhaps its best chance of winning a World Cup title, starts this game as the strong favourites to beat a Sri Lanka side that must improve quickly.
“We’ve had some great preparation for this tournament, but that doesn’t guarantee us anything,” Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum said.
Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan was received treatment and was heavily strapped before the toss. He then limped into the dressing, but Mathews confirmed that he was good to go and will play today.
New Zealand Team
MJ Guptill, BB McCullum*, KS Williamson, LRPL Taylor, GD Elliott, CJ Anderson, L Ronchi†, DL Vettori, TG Southee, AF Milne, TA Boult
Sri Lanka Team
TM Dilshan, HDRL Thirimanne, KC Sangakkara†, DPMD Jayawardene, AD Mathews*, FDM Karunaratne, BMAJ Mendis, KMDN Kulasekara, RAS Lakmal, HMRKB Herath, SL Malinga
MELBOURNE (Sporting Alert) — Following two colourful opening ceremonies in Christchurch and Melbourne on Thursday, the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup bowls off this weekend with co-hosts Australia and New Zealand both in action.
Despite returning from a hamstring surgery and taking part in two of his country’s warmup matches, Australian captain Michael Clarke has been ruled out of the Pool A clash with England in Melbourne.
Clarke batted, fielded, and even bowled in the warmups and looked fit enough to feature in the opener.
However, head coach Darren Lehmann, although pleased with the encouraging signs, says the skipper wouldn’t be rushed back into competitive battle and revealed that a more likely return would be against Bangladesh in their second match on Feb. 21.
“We are really happy with his progress,” Lehmann said. “But we’re going to stick with the plan and he’ll play against Bangladesh.
“Really happy with the way it’s gone, the way he batted, ran, fielded, bowled, he ticked all the boxes. A good solid week [ahead] and get prepared for Bangladesh.”
Clarke, who made 34 off just 36 balls against the Bangladeshis and 64 from 61 deliveries against the United Arab Emirates, had declared himself fit to play against England, but Lehmann believes he still needs more time.
“He’s very keen to play but we’ve got to make sure that when he gets back he’ll be ready to go, and he will be on Saturday [next] week,” said Lehmann.
“We just had a chat. He’s respectful of what we’re trying to do, get him right. He’s a quality player and a quality leader.
“Whilst we would have loved to have him available for this game, we’re making sure he’s 100% and ready to go for Bangladesh.”
In the meantime, while Australia will start the World Cup tournament without its captain, England will be hoping their leader, Eoin Morgan, can shake off his recent poor form with the bat, which sees him scoring just two runs in his last four innings and collecting three ducks.
Morgan hit 121 against Australia on January 16, but hasn’t looked the same after that knock – as he faced just four balls and failed to trouble the scoreboard in his last two innings.
There are many who are very concerned about the middle-order batsman’s form, but the 28-year-old isn’t too concerned.
“I’m not really that concerned,” Morgan said. “I’ve had a couple of low scores, but it’s only four or five games since I scored a hundred.
“I don’t have to look back very far to reconnect what works for me. That was against Australia and this first game is against Australia, so I’ll take a lot of confidence from that.
“I find it really easy to reconnect with the past and what I do well when the chips are down. I’ve done that in the past when I’ve had low scores and I’ve come out the other side.”
Players To Watch:
For Australia, top order batsmen, David Warner and Aaron Finch, if they both get going, the scoreboard is bound to turnover rapidly. All-rounders Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner, as well as quicks Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson are expected to carry the majority of the weight for the pre-tournament favourites.
However, the slumping form of stand-in ODI skipper George Bailey remains a worry for the Aussies.
For England, there is no doubt that all eyes will be on Morgan, who replaced Alastair Cook as the ODI captain because his form was also not up to standard.
Another failure with the bat and defeat for England against Australia could certainly put Morgan’s place in the side in jeopardy, with reports claiming that Joe Root may very well be his replacement as team leader.
Full World Cup Squads
MJ Clarke*, GJ Bailey, BJ Haddin†, SPD Smith, DA Warner, SR Watson, JP Faulkner, MR Marsh, GJ Maxwell, AJ Finch, JR Hazlewood, MG Johnson, MA Starc, PJ Cummins, XJ Doherty
EJG Morgan*, JC Buttler†, AD Hales, MM Ali, JE Root, JWA Taylor, GS Ballance, IR Bell, RS Bopara, SCJ Broad, ST Finn, CJ Jordan, JC Tredwell, CR Woakes, JM Anderson
In the opening Pool A contest on the day, fellow World Cup co-hosts New Zealand will take on Sri Lanka at Christchurch.
The Black Caps are coming off a fantastic run in 2014 and have looked good in the buildup towards the 2015 tournament.
Given their recent form, several pundits are tipping the Brendon McCullum led side as the “dark-horses,” and the captain believes it will be an “interesting” tournament as his side, which made six of the last 10 semi-finals, hunts its first World Cup crown.
“On paper, I think it’s without doubt the strongest team I’ve certainly been involved with going into a World Cup,” McCullum said recently.
“But World Cup’s aren’t won on paper. It will be interesting to see how we go, but we’ve got a very level bunch of people within the group.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who are very humble and level on their emotions and that helps you to be able to deal with some of the pressures which come on.”
Sri Lanka enter this contest looking for a pay back after losing 4-2 to these same opponents in a seven-match ODI series last month, but captain Angelo Mathews admits that is will be very difficult to stop this confident New Zealand side.
Sports is just pure awesomeness. That's Mark's favourite saying and he does enjoy covering various sporting events in the Caribbean. Mark has been covering Caribbean related events since the mid 2000s.