Returning Hales and skipper Morgan help England to tour victory

11 January 2018 12:31

Alex Hales made a half-century on his return to England duty and captain Eoin Morgan led the tourists to a five-wicket victory over a Cricket Australia XI with an unbeaten 81 in a tour match in Sydney on Thursday.

Hales had not played for his country since his involvement in an incident in Bristol in September, which saw team-mate Ben Stokes arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

Stokes is waiting to learn if he will be charged and the star all-rounder missed the Ashes as a consequence, with England losing the Test series 4-0 in his absence.

Hales was not arrested or charged but may still face internal disciplinary action from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) following the conclusion of the police investigation.  

The 29-year-old made 52 batting at number three at Drummoyne Oval, where the hosts had posted 258-9 from their 50 overs, thanks to half-centuries from Travis Dean (62) and Mackenzie Harvey (59).

With four fours and as many maximums in his rapid 48-ball knock, 17-year-old Harvey channelled his uncle Ian Harvey, who made 73 one-day international appearances for Australia, to impress despite his inexperience. 

Spinner Adil Rashid (3-45) led England's wicket-takers, while Moeen Ali and Liam Plunkett claimed two scalps apiece for an attack missing the rested James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

The experienced pair nevertheless remained inseparable as they seized on an opportunity to recover from their unrewarded exertions in longest format by visiting a beach together in Queensland.


What a pair of hats!!! #Australia @jimmya9

A post shared by Stuart Broad (@stuartbroad8) on

Openers Jason Roy (40) and Jonny Bairstow (36) were unable to convert their starts into big scores, but Hales and Morgan, together with Jos Buttler (28) and Sam Billlings (15 not out) helped England across the line.

Despite finally finding some form with the ball, Moeen again struggled with the bat. He was out for just one to Gabe Bell (2-35), who was one of two Cricket Australia XI players to bag two wickets alongside Daniel Fallins (2-56).

There was also a return to light duties for Joe Root, who carried the drinks after being hospitalised due to viral gastroenteritis during the final Ashes Test at the SCG.

England return to competitive action at the MCG on Sunday in the first of five ODIs.

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