With the big build up over and all of the warm-up games now completed, it was finally time to start the ODI World Cup for real Down Under, with co-hosts the Aussies welcoming England to Melbourne today. The result may have been somewhat predictable, as the Aussies thrashed the tourists by 111 runs, but there were plenty of sub plots to entertain the crowd along the way. Aaron Finch's magnificent century paved the way for the Australian victory, but not before he had been granted a reprieve when still on nought. Steven Finn will go down in the record books for his late hat-trick, but a truer reflection of his bowling was probably the 71 runs he was hammered for in taking his five wickets.

Eoin Morgan continued his travails, as he compounded his decision to put his opponents in and then watch them hammer his side to all parts of the ground in making a massive 342-9, by then not troubling the scorers once again when he briefly batted, with a duck. Geoffrey Boycott's analysis of his deficiencies with the bat may well have been vindicated somewhat in that moment, but there were many other things not up to scratch with England's performance.

Opening batsman Finch was superb for the home side, scoring 135 off just 128 balls. The failure to dismiss him when he hadn't scored as a simple catch was put down by Chris Woakes, proved extremely costly for Morgan's men. They were unable to stem the runs as a result, as their bowling attack fed the stroke makers in the Oz side far too easily.

George Bailey (with 55) added 146 with Finch, before Glenn Maxwell turned in a quick-fire 66 to really turn the screw on the beleaguered bowlers. Finn was extremely expensive but at least claimed 5 wickets, including a hat-trick from the final three balls, which at least denied the Aussies a record total of 344. His haul was the second most expensive five-wicket display in ODI history though.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Woakes and Moeen Ali all went for over 60 runs, with Joe Root's contribution being eleven runs conceded off just one over.

It always looked like a tall order for England in reply, as the hosts continued to entertain the massive crowd that had come in expectation of putting the 'pommies' to the sword yet again.

Despite some stern resistance from James Taylor with a useful 98 not out, they fell away to 231 all out at the end with over eight overs still remaining. The bowling attack was far too consistent to allow them any real hopes of a fight back, ably assisted by some wonderful fielding, especially Steve Smith's acrobatic catch to dismiss Jos Buttler, as England tried and failed to go aerial. Mitchell Marsh benefited from England's frenetic run chase by taking 5-33, which was typified by the final wicket confusion. Taylor was ruled not out for LBW on review, but Anderson was then given run out as the replays turned their attention to the second chance for a wicket, off what proved to be the final ball of the innings.

England will need to regroup quickly for their next match in the group against New Zealand on Friday, if they are to get their World Cup campaign back on track. As for the Aussies, they will no doubt give several teams in this competition similar treatment to that which they doled out so liberally against their Ashes' rivals here, but probably won't get as much satisfaction from their achievements.