Morgan, Moeen find form in warm-up canter


England 259 for 5 (Morgan 81*, Hales 52, Bell 2-35) beat Cricket Australia XI 258 for 9 (Dean 62, Harvey 59, Rashid 3-45, Moeen 2-28) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

England enjoyed a good all-round workout in their preparation for the ODI series with Australia, easing to a five-wicket win with almost ten overs to spare against a Cricket Australia XI at Drummoyne Oval.

Captain Eoin Morgan led them home in a chase of 259, scoring an unbeaten 81 from 76 balls, to go with solid contributions from most of the England top order. Alex Hales, batting at No. 3 in the absence of Joe Root, made 52 off 35, while Jason Roy shook off the effects of a finger injury suffered in the field to strike 40 from 48.

Both sides fielded 12 players, with Root fit enough only to run the drinks after he was laid low by a bout of gastroenteritis during the fifth Ashes Test.

Hales was making his first appearance for England since being ruled out of selection for the last two games of the ODI series with West Indies in September, following his part in the incident that led to Ben Stokes’ arrest in Bristol. England, however, chose to stick with Roy and Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order, with the latter hitting a run-a-ball 36 during an opening stand of 74 in 12.4 overs.

Legspinner Daniel Fallins, 21, broke the partnership by having Bairstow taken behind the stumps and he also snared Hales, after a rapid innings that included four fours and three sixes. Jos Buttler also added a quickfire 28 before Gabe Bell struck twice, but Morgan and Sam Billings finished things off with an unbroken stand of 52.

The CA XI were limited to 258 for 9 from their 50 overs, with Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid standing out for England with the ball. Moeen, in particular, put a dismal Ashes behind him by taking 2 for 28 from his 10 overs, although he could only manage 1 off two balls with the bat.

Travis Dean was one of Moeen’s victims, having anchored the first half of the innings with 62 from 63. His fellow opener Matt Renshaw, captaining the side, fell to Liam Plunkett, who claimed 2 for 52, before Moeen and Rashid got a grip on the middle order.

The scoring was lifted by a sparkling 48-ball 59 from 17-year-old No. 6 Mackenzie Harvey. He smacked four fours and four sixes – including three off Mark Wood, who 10 overs went for 68 – before becoming one of Rashid’s three victims.

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