Trescothick carries England to victory
50 overs England 221 for 1 (Trescothick 104*, Vaughan 59*) beat Australia 219 for 7 (Hussey 48*, Collingwood 4-34) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Marcus Trescothick scored his first century against Australia to guide England to a convincing nine-wicket win in the opening match of the NatWest Challenge. He and Andrew Strauss added 101 for the first wicket to lay the foundations, and Michael Vaughan completed the finishing touches with an aggressive half-century. England's batting may have been impressive, but the bowlers wasted perfect conditions in the morning.
Both openers rode their luck considerably in the opening exchanges as Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee produced probing spells. Trescothick was given a reprieve when he was caught at third man by McGrath off Lee, only to see the umpire calling no-ball.
Strauss was making a conscious effort to play straighter, after being troubled by Lee in the NatWest Series, but he still wasn't entirely convincing. Both Trescothick and Strauss were given plenty of opportunities to unleash their favourite pull shots as the Australian attack pitched too short - a trap that England's bowlers had fallen into as well.
Jason Gillespie is still struggling and went for 66 in his 10 overs while Shane Watson failed to maintain a consistent line and length before limping off injured after his third over. Ponting - following Michael Vaughan's earlier example - used all the fielding restrictions in the opening 20 overs. Australia introduced their supersub when Brad Hogg replaced Matthew Hayden although, confusingly, Hayden remained on the field for Watson.
Hogg made an impact with his third ball, as Strauss was brilliantly caught by Adam Gilchrist off an attempted reverse-sweep (101 for 1). Vaughan came in at No. 3 with the critics, once again, talking of his poor one-day record but he responded with his most convincing limited-overs innings of the season. The trademark cover-drive was in evidence and he ensured England passed the winning post in style, with some handsome shots off Gillespie and Lee.
Trescothick reached his 10th one-day hundred from 132 balls and it was an innings which emphasised the value of playing yourself in, rather than trying expansive shots from the outset as England's top-order did at Lord's. Australia's bowling was ragged and Ponting was short of options - despite having Hogg on hand as his supersub. A final, thumping pull shot from Vaughan sealed the win with 23 balls to spare.
But England would have been disappointed to be chasing as many as 220 after the frontline bowlers wasted helpful early conditions. Paul Collingwood was the surprise package, pulling the situation around, as he ran through Australia's middle-order, taking 4 for 34 with his wobbling medium-pace.
Gilchrist and Hayden had laid another solid platform before England fought back when Steve Harmison snared Gilchrist, well caught down the leg-side by Geraint Jones, who continues to hold onto anything which flies his way. Hayden never settled, scratching around for 17 from 47 balls, before picking out Kevin Pietersen at deep square-leg (68 for 2).
England's powerplay overs went by largely unnoticed with ball dominating bat for large swathes of the innings. Vaughan opted to use both sets of five overs straight after the initial 10, as the ball was zipping around and he was quite happy to maintain attacking fields. But it was not until Collingwood's introduction as the fifth bowler that England took control. His first scalp was Ponting, who resembled a man batting with a toothpick after Harmison and Andrew Flintoff gave him a real working-over. He eventually top-edged to Pietersen at deep square-leg (107 for 3).
The Australian batsmen clearly thought Collingwood was the bowler to exploit, but that attitude gifted England their next two wickets. Andrew Symonds wafted loosely outside off-stump and offered a simple catch to Trescothick at gully (116 for 4) and Michael Clarke became frustrated with Collingwood's nagging wicket-to-wicket accuracy and played an ugly heave across the line (120 for 5). The proof that it was Collingwood's day continued when Damien Martyn - who had gone about batting in his usual unflustered fashion - received a rough decision after he flashed at a wide ball (159 for 6).
Not for the first time this summer Mike Hussey kept a cool head and, with the help of Lee, took 30 off the last two overs bowled by Flintoff and Darren Gough. Though 219 represented an impressive recovery, the sun came out to greet the England openers and, after a brief period of reconnaissance, they had few alarms. After all the talk of innovations the day was dominated by two traditional facets of the game - classy batting and swing bowling.
Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo