England take command at the Gabba

England players celebrate the wicket of Australia's Michael Clarke during the second ODI at the Gabba (AP)

England players celebrate the wicket of Australia's Michael Clarke during the second ODI at the Gabba (AP)

First published in National Sport News © by

England were well-placed to secure a first win over Australia this winter after Eoin Morgan's brilliant century in the second one-day international in Brisbane.

Morgan thrashed the majority of his 106 in the final 10 overs as a 113-run stand with Jos Buttler, from 68 balls, surged England to 300 for eight.

Chris Jordan then quickly removed openers Aaron Finch and David Warner before Joe Root claimed the prized scalp of Australia skipper Michael Clarke.

A Shaun Marsh half-century ensured Australia were still very much alive in the contest at 104 for three, in pursuit of what would be a record chase at the Gabba, after 20 overs.

Jordan's wickets were both secured via unlikely one-handed catches - perhaps an indication luck was finally with Alastair Cook's side.

Gary Ballance plucked a fierce Finch drive out of the sky with his right hand - to make some amends for his costly drop in Melbourne when the opener went on to score a match-winning century.

Jordan then took an even better return catch to get rid of the dangerous Warner, relying on instinct to latch on to a ball that seemed destined to whiz by him.

It was just the start England desired and it got better when Clarke sliced Root to Ballance at point.

Despite England's wickets, Australia were still able to score freely with Marsh driving and cutting his way to 50 from 60 balls.

An unchanged England had appeared consigned to a below-par total, after Cook won the toss, as they idled to 178 for five in the 38th over.

Ian Bell contributed 68 at the top of the order but regular wickets meant Morgan was initially forced to play within himself, reaching his half-century from 70 balls.

But from there the left-hander took charge, with able assistance from Buttler (45), as his second 50 came from 24 balls.

Morgan reached three figures with a ramp over wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, which raced to the ropes and prompted a fist pump of delight.

Morgan's hitting was only ended in the final over, when he mis-timed another swat at James Faulkner, who he had launched for back-to-back sixes at the height of his 99-ball innings.

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