Eoin Morgan's unbeaten 103 saw England to a come from behind four-wicket win over Australia in the first one-day international at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. England, chasing 268 for victory, were in dire straits at 97 for four.
But former Ireland batsman Morgan's second one-day hundred for his adopted country turned the tide yesterday and gave England a 1-0 lead in this five match series. He ended the match and went to his hundred in the process by crashing paceman Ryan Harris down the ground for four, having faced 85 balls with 16 boundaries as England won with exactly four overs to spare.
"I've been in good nick for a while now and I want to play more cricket to take advantage of it," said Morgan. "I think I try to keep things quite simple and it's easy to do when you're in good nick - it came off today, so happy days."
Delighted England captain Andrew Strauss hailed Middlesex colleague Morgan's display by saying: "What a fantastic innings from Eoin Morgan - that was one of the best I've seen."
Australia captain Ricky Ponting added: "We were probably a bit below with our batting. Morgan played very, very well. We were a long way below our best but still remained competitive, that's a positive."
Turning to Morgan, he added: "He played, very, very well. But the way our quicks and medium-pacers bowled to him, we gave him too many boundary options."
World champions Australia arrived in England without injured quicks Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus. But having made 267 for seven, featuring vice-captain Michael Clarke's unbeaten 87, it seemed they would make light of their inexperienced attack.
However, a fifth-wicket stand of 95 in 92 balls between left-hander Morgan and Luke Wright swung the match back England's way before the latter was lbw for 36 to paceman Ryan Harris.