James Vince impresses but England are edged by Australia in Cricket World Cup warm-up at Ageas Bowl
A fine innings from James Vince on his home ground failed to save England from a narrow 12-run defeat against Australia in their warm up game at the Ageas Bowl.
Vince produced some classy shots as he reached 64 before he was eventually caught at short third man in the 34th over.
Both teams rested key players in the 'phoney war' ahead of Thursday's start to the tournament.
England were without Eoin Morgan and Joe Root, while the visitors were missing Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
Predictably when Australia opted to bat first opener David Warner was booed to the crease after returning from his ban for ball tampering.
When England made their early breakthrough it was his partner Aaron Finch who fell presenting Moeen Ali with an easy catch at mid-on off the bowling of Mark Wood.
Wood’s joy turned to sorrow in his next over when he pulled up sharply and left the field.
There was the unusual sight of England’s assistant coach Paul Collingwood taking the field as a substitute fielder – allowed because it wasn’t an official match.
Warner was also booed off the pitch when he was caught by Jonny Bairstow running around at deep mid-wicket off Liam Plunkett.
The boos intensified when he was replaced by his ball tampering partner in crime Steve Smith.
Showing excellent temperament ex-captain Smith (116) once again proved the scourge of England helping himself to a magnificent century off 94 balls.
With some late help from Alex Carey (30 off 14 balls) he guided Australia to 297 for nine off their 50 overs.
Liam Plunkett was the pick of the England bowlers with four wickets.
Hampshire’s Liam Dawson bowled a tidy spell in the middle of the innings finishing with figures of one for 50 off his nine overs.
England survived an early scare at the start of their reply when Jason Roy was dropped in the slips before there was a run on the board.
Roy (32) punished that mistake with valuable runs and when he was out to a soft dismissal in the 13th over his side had reached 65 for two.
Vince and a typically swashbuckling innings from Jos Buttler (52 off 31 balls) looked like setting England on their way to victory.
Buttler crashed Nathan Coulter-Nile for 24 off one over which included two sixes and three fours.
When Buttler fell caught at mid wicket England needed 127 runs to win from 21 overs.
In a tight finish and despite the efforts of Chris Woakes (40) the home side fell 13 runs short.