Cameron White justified his return to the national side with a brilliant batting display as a new-look Australia downed England by 13 runs on Wednesday in their opening Twenty20 clash at Bellerive.
White smashed 75 from 43 balls in his first appearance for Australia since 2012, helping the home side to a formidable 4-213 after they won the toss and batted.
The 30-year-old helped himself to six boundaries and four sixes as the home side took a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20 series.
White and opening partner Aaron Finch (52 from 31) put on 106 before debutant Chris Lynn showed his class with three sixes in his late cameo of 33 from 19.
Nathan Coulter-Nile (4-30) and Moises Henriques (2-36) then did the damage with the ball, a scintillating Ravi Bopara (65 from 27) knock England’s only real highlight.
Skipper of unbeaten Big Bash League outfit the Melbourne Stars, White last played a T20 match for Australia against the West Indies in the World Twenty20 tournament in Colombo in October 2012.
He last played a one-day international in 2011 and a Test in 2008.
Needing to equal their highest T20 international total, England never really looked in it, despite Bopara’s late fireworks.
They lost Michael Lumb (9 from 6) to a meek prod to mid-off at 1-14.
Henriques struck twice in the fifth over, removing two of England’s dangermen.
He had Luke Wright (9 from 10) playing on and then Alex Hales (22 from 12) lbw, the tourists reduced to 3-45.
Maxwell bowled the in-form Eoin Morgan (4 from 4) at 4-51 and England were in strife.
They were as good as gone when Coulter-Nile had Jos Buttler (20 from 14) and Joe Root (32 from 24) caught in the deep in the 12th over at 6-100.
A flurry of seven sixes from Bopara wasn’t enough to revive their hopes and they finished at 9-200.
White admitted he’d been desperate to get back into the green and gold.
“I must admit it’s been something I’ve been looking forward to for a while,” he said.
“It’s been something I’ve worked pretty hard to get the opportunity to do so it was great to get a few runs in the first game back.”
He has set the goal of being part of Australia’s World Twenty20 squad but will need to vie for an opening spot with Test stars Shane Watson and Dave Warner.
“I’m not exactly sure I’ll be in the team once they’re back in,” he said.
“I can just concentrate on these next couple of games and hopefully put my best foot forward and get on that next tour.
“With the Twenty20 World Cup around the corner that’s a bit of an aim.”
England captain Stuart Broad said his side could take some confidence from getting as close as it did.
“We never really got going with the bat but still got 200 runs,” he said.
” … Thirteen runs isn’t a huge defeat.”
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