London – England returned to winning ways after their shock six-run defeat by Scotland with a three-wicket victory over Australia in their one-day international series-opener at The Oval on Wednesday.
However, the world’s top-ranked ODI side made hard work of chasing down a modest target of 215 before finishing on 218 for seven with six overs to spare.
David Willey (35 not out) ended the match with a six off Australia debutant Michael Neser as England went 1-0 up in this five-match series.
The 2019 World Cup hosts had been cruising to victory during a fourth-wicket stand of 115 between England one-day captain Eoin Morgan (69) and Test skipper Joe Root (50) that helped them recover from 38 for three.
Earlier, England dismissed Australia for just 214, the world champions all out in 47 overs.
Off-spinner Moeen Ali took three top-order wickets on his way to three for 43, with paceman Liam Plunkett following up with three for 43.
Australia 214: 47 overs (G Maxwell 62; L Plunkett 3-42, M Ali 3-43)
England 218-7: 44 overs (E Morgan 69, J Root 50)