Melbourne: Favourites Australia launched their cricket World Cup campaign with a flourish as the co-hosts rode on Aaron Finch's brisk century, the tournament's first, and Mitchell Marsh's five-for to record a crushing 111-run victory over old foes England here today.
Put into bat, the four-time winners rode on Finch's seventh ODI century to post a formidable 342 for nine as the packed MCG enjoyed the onslaught. Chasing 343 for a win, the Eoin Morgan-led side failed to get going only be bundled for 231 in 41.5 overs.
James Taylor's unbeaten 98 was the only bright spot in an otherwise lackluster performance by England. There was a bit of a controversy in the end as James Anderson was was run out after umpire Aleem Dar adjudged Taylor lbw off Josh Hazlewood.
The decision was later reviewed and Taylor was given not out by the third umpire but Anderson at the non-strikers end was found short of his crease. But the day belonged to Finch, whose 135 off 128 balls lay the foundation for a huge score before the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell blazed his way to a 40-ball 66.
They were also helped by skipper George Bailey's sedate half-century, his 69-ball 55 keeping things steady in the middle overs. With the ball, Marsh shone bright returning impressive figures of five for 33 in his quota of nine overs.
If Australia bowled well then England faltered in their chase, losing wickets at regular intervals. Needing a good start, the visitors lost both their openers - Mooen Ali and Ian Bell - by the 10th over with just 49 runs on the board.
Coming in at No.6, Taylor tried his level best to make a fight of it but his 91-ball stay till end, laced with 11 fours and 2 sixes, just did not prove enough in an otherwise poor batting show.
Chris Woakes contributed with 37 runs lower down the order while Bell made 36 at the top. Though experience, Steven Finn was the most successful bowler for England, returning figures of 5 for 71, including a hat-trick off the last three balls of Australia's innings.