Leading England for a record 70th time in ODIs, Eoin Morgan had an outstanding day in the field at the Gabba, while his bowlers backed up each of the plans to perfection. Here's how Australia were outsmarted on a ground that so often suits them.
Australia's openers had not scorched away from England on a hot Brisbane afternoon, with Chris Woakes providing much better early control than at the MCG, but after nine overs David Warner and Aaron Finch had reached a useful 54 without loss. That's when Morgan went off from what might have been perceived as the standard script: he introduced Moeen Ali for the 10th over, with only two men allowed outside the ring. Yet Moeen skipped through his first over for just two runs and you could already sense the batsmen twitching, especially Warner. In Moeen's next over, Morgan persisted with a slip and the reward came when Warner, eager to try and score through the off side, edged a delivery tight to off stump into the hands of Joe Root. Moeen, bowling like a man transformed from his Test woes, then conceded just six from his next two overs as the squeeze took hold.
England's other offie
An absent allrounder has provoked debate in recent days, but Root showed England still have a very handy sixth-bowling option. The early signs were that Australia wanted to go after Adil Rashid - his first two overs cost 19 - so, having seen the grip for Moeen, Root was thrown the ball for the 20th over. With his fourth delivery he made one straighten on Steven Smith to trap the Australia captain lbw and his impact was so great that he was given seven overs on the bounce, also picking up the wicket of a laboured Travis Head. Even when Root slipped out a big full toss that was called a no-ball, his response to the free hit was to shrewdly take the pace off the delivery and Mitchell Marsh couldn't connect.
Australia into reverse
One of the skills of captaincy is to know when a tactic has run its course or when it's worth rolling the dice again. Root's spell had given Morgan plenty of breathing space in terms of rationing the overs between his attack. He brought Rashid back in the 34th and by the end of the 38th he had sent down six overs for 40, with England's spinners having bowled 20 between them. It might have been tempting to think they had done their job for the day and revert to pace from both ends. However, Morgan stuck with Rashid and his next two overs accounted for Marsh and Marcus Stoinis, while in between centurion Finch succumbed to the pressure and found mid-on. Any notion of 300 was out of the window.
Rashid's last two overs cost 23 to dent his figures somewhat - Alex Carey briefly bringing his BBL form into his ODI debut - but already England's quicks were back on the mark, although they were rarely off it with just three boundaries against pace after the 11th over. Only Andrew Tye's penultimate-ball six, when Woakes missed a yorker, broke the mould. The skill and control on show was outstanding, switching between full and short, in collaboration with Morgan's fields, with almost pinpoint accuracy. Poor Cameron White, playing his first ODI for three years, could barely find the middle of the bat. To cap it all, Woakes pulled off two fine run outs: the first was a right-footer into the stumps good enough to attract interest in the current transfer window and the second a direct hit off the last ball that, while only denying a single, was a fitting way to sum up England's sharpness.