Carlton Mid ODI Series
England crush PM's XI
Top order wobbles remain but tourists claim first win since mid-November
14 January 2014, 09:40 PM AEST
CLICK HERE for the full scorecard
England has overcome another Alastair Cook failure with the bat to crush the Prime Minister's XI by 172 runs in Canberra, declaring it's the "morale boost" they need for the Carlton Mid ODI series against Australia.
The hosts' total of 92 was the lowest ever produced by a PM's XI side, handing England their first win in eight matches on Australian soil.
QUICK SINGLE: 'England finally showed their quality': Lee
QUICK SINGLE: Hodge hopeful of Australia World T20 call-up
"To get a win will be a morale boost for everyone," said wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, who top scored with 61.
"We can hopefully take the momentum forward to (the second ODI game) in Brisbane."
But their score of 8-264 off 50 overs once again came primarily from the middle order, with Cook and first drop Joe Root both falling cheaply.
After winning the toss and electing to bat in front of a crowd of 12,316 at Manuka Oval, England got off to a shaky start thanks to a fierce opening spell from PM's XI captain Brett Lee (2-22 from seven overs).
Cook (1) was caught behind on his second ball when Lee got one to rise quickly just short of a length.
It means the England captain has averaged just 20.91 in his last 12 innings on Australian soil.
"He wants to score the runs and wants to lead us from the front and I'm sure he'll be doing everything he can do get back to doing that," Buttler said.
"But he's got responsibilities as a captain to lead by example in other ways, and he's doing that brilliantly."
Root didn't look any more confident at the crease, notching up one run from 14 deliveries when Lee trapped him lbw.
But England's early innings troubles proved to be nothing compared to the PM's XI team, whose top five order batsmen managed to scrape just 51 runs between them.
Ravi Bopara (4-3 from three overs) and Boyd Rankin (2-39 from eight overs) were the pick of the English bowlers.
Lee admitted that on paper his young side was more of a bowling unit than a batting one.
"We just couldn't seem to get any partnerships going, that reflected on someone like Brad Hodge (28 off 42), who couldn't play his natural game," Lee said.
As opposed to their hosts, the England side managed to overcome their early troubles, Michael Carberry (47), Gary Ballance (56), Jos Buttler (61) and Tim Bresnan (36) all chipping in with handy innings.
"We got up to a challenging total and put them under pressure straight away with the ball," Buttler said.
The one silver lining for the PM's XI was the performance of 20-year-old legspinner James Muirhead (3-52), who dismissed batsmen Ballance, Eoin Morgan (4) and Ravi Bopara (18).
The 20-year-old Victorian had the English batsmen in all sorts when he got his length right - but also gave away plenty of runs with long hops and full tosses.
"He bowls with confidence," Lee said.
"He's a huge find for the Australian set-up."
Prime Minister's XI squad: Brett Lee (c), Jackson Bird, Ben Cutting, Peter Handscomb (wk), Brad Hodge, Alister McDermott, Ben McDermott, James Muirhead, Luke Pomersbach, Clive Rose, Michael Spaseski, Shane Devoy (12th)
England XI: Alastair Cook (c), Gary Ballance, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler (wk), Michael Carberry, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, James Tredwell