Nervous Aussies triumph on back of Stoinis ton
A BRILLIANT century from Marcus Stoinis has helped Australia claim a 57-run victory in a nervy one-day tune-up against English county side Sussex.
The WA allrounder stroked a classy 110 from 112 balls and held the innings together after the tourists suffered a mid-order slump following a flying start at Hove.
Despite a spirited response from Sussex, Australia got the Justin Langer era off to a winning start, restricting the hosts to 220 all out in 42.3 overs.
Stoinis was backed up by a brutal 78 from vice-captain Aaron Finch, who struck nine fours and one six in his 97-ball cameo.
Sent in after the hosts won the toss, openers Finch and debutant D'Arcy Short piled into the Sussex attack before Danny Briggs trapped Short lbw for 21 from 27 balls.
Finch racked up his half-century in 54 deliveries and looked in great nick for the tour in what at times looked like a glorified net session.
But when he was finally dismissed - caught behind off Jofra Archer - Australiaâ€™s middle order went missing.
First Glenn Maxwell fell for one before Travis Head was gone for just a run more. When skipper Tim Paine was caught and bowled by Luke Wells the tourists had lost four wickets for 13 runs in 31 balls.
Ashton Agar chipped in with 21 before Stoinis finally holed out to long-off but Jhye Richardson (11) and Andrew Tye (13 not out) added some lusty blows to take Australia to 9-277.
Sussex made a shambolic start when they lost opener Luke Wells in a cheap run- out to Kane Richardson in their third over.
But Phil Salt, twice dropped by Short at short leg before he had even scored, made the most of his let-offs with 62 off 48 balls before being clean bowled by Richardson.
Harry Finch, flourishing at Sussex under the coaching of former Australia star Jason Gillespie, was next man out when caught and bowled by Ashton Agar for 45 before Stoinis enjoyed some success with the ball, bowling Michael Burgess for six.
Agar also dismissed skipper Ben Brown and took the prized scalp of Laurie Evans (57) to finish with 3-64 off his 10 overs.
Debutant Michael Neser got in on the act removing David Wiese and, with Chris Jordan run out for five, Sussex had lost four wickets for 32 runs with Australia smelling blood.
Tye bowled Archer (10) before Jhye Richardson wrapped up the win by dismissing Abi Sakande with 45 balls to spare.
A. Finch c Brown b Archer 78
D. Short lbw b Briggs 21
M. Stoinis c Evans b Archer 110
G. Maxwell c Evans b Wells 1
T. Head lbw b Briggs 2
T. Paine c and b Wells 2
A. Agar run out (Archer) 21
M. Neser c Brown b Jordan 2
J. Richardson c Wells b Archer 11
A. Tye not out 13
K. Richardson not out 2
Extras (lb7, w7) 14
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 277
Fall of wickets: 1-74 (Short), 2-167 (Finch), 3-170 (Maxwell), 4-173 (Head), 5-180 (Paine), 6-238 (Agar), 7-250 (Neser), 8-250 (Stoinis), 9-264 (J Richardson)
Bowling: Archer 10-0-62-3 (4w); Jordan 10-0-64-1; Wiese 5-1-27-0; Briggs 10-2-42-2; Sakande 5-0-31-0 (2w); Wells 10-0-44-2 (1w);
L. Wells run out (K Richardson) 1
P. Salt b K Richardson 62
H. Finch c and b Agar 45
L. Evans st Paine b Agar 57
M. Burgess b Stoinis 6
B. Brown lbw b Agar 17
D. Wiese c Paine b Neser 3
C. Jordan run out (Stoinis/Paine) 5
J. Archer b Tye 10
D. Briggs not out 3
A. Sakande b J Richardson 0
Extras (lb8, w3) 11
Total (all out, 42.3 overs) 220
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Wells), 2-92 (Salt), 3-130 (Finch), 4-139 (Burgess), 5-180 (Brown), 6-192 (Wiese), 7-202 (Evans), 8-210 (Jordan), 9-219 (Archer), 10-220 (Sakande)
Bowling: Neser 8-1-36-1 (1w) J Richardson 7.3-1-35-1; Agar 10-0-64-3; K Richardson 6-0-37-1; Tye 8-0-28-1 (2w); Stoinis 3-0-12-1
Result: Australia won by 57 runs
Toss: Sussex Umpires: Ian Blackwell (ENG), Graham Lloyd (ENG)