Aaron Finch scores ninth ODI ton with Australia scoring 304 against England




Australian opener Aaron Finch has scored his ninth one-day international century to leave England chasing a target of 305 in today's series-opener at the MCG.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 14:  Aaron Finch of Australia celebrates reaching his century during game one of the One Day International Series between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 14, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Aaron Finch of Australia celebrates reaching his century during game one of the One Day International series between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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Finch (107) combined with Mitch Marsh (50) for a 118-run partnership as the hosts reached 304-8 from their 50 overs after being sent in to bat by Eoin Morgan.

Marcus Stoinis did the damage late, smacking 60 off 40 balls in his first outing for Australia on home soil.

Steve Smith had identified the middle order as a key area of improvement, and the runs from Stoinis and Marsh proved vital after Smith (23) and David Warner (2) both fell cheaply.

Warner, who missed Australia's training on Saturday with a stomach bug, top- edged a peach of a short-pitched delivery from England quick Mark Wood to the slips in the second over.

Smith made it to double figures before being caught behind off a well-flighted delivery from legspinner Adil Rashid (2-73).

England's inability to match Australia for pace proved to be a defining issue in their 4-0 Ashes defeat but Wood (1-49) had no such troubles.

The 28-year-old, who was recovering from an ankle injury during the Test series, took just seven balls to send down the second-fastest England delivery of the summer at 149.3km/h.

With Travis Head (5) also failing to fire, Marsh continued his strong summer after being picked ahead of Cameron White.

Marsh and Finch quickly targeted Rashid, combining for 34 runs from his three- over spell midway through the innings.

Finch brought up his century off 112 balls with his third six, smashing a Rashid half-volley long over deep midwicket.

In doing so, the 31-year-old became the equal-fourth fastest Australian to score 3,000 ODI runs.

Moeen Ali (1-39) made the breakthrough soon after, luring Finch into a mistimed drive to Jonny Bairstow in the deep.

Rashid then clean-bowled Marsh with a sliding straight delivery.

But the damage had largely been done before Stoinis - who was eventually caught by a diving Joe Root at mid-off - combined with Tim Paine for 80 runs to bolster Australia's total.

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