Shaun Marsh overcomes a knee injury to help Australia A defeat England Lions in Hobart

Last Updated: 16/02/13 4:08pm

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A century from Varun Chopra wasn't enough to stop England Lions suffering a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia A in the opening one-dayer of the series.

Warwickshire opener Chopra made 105 from 137 balls as the Lions, who won the toss and chose to bat first, amassed 259-6 from their 50 overs.

The 25-year-old shared half-century stands with opening partner James Vince (24) and then skipper James Taylor (28) to lay a solid platform in Hobart.

Ben Foakes then provided some impetus in the middle overs, the Essex wicketkeeper-batsman hitting a breezy 56 from 42 balls that included seven boundaries.

He shared in a third-wicket alliance worth 97 with Chopra, whose innings eventually ended in the 47th over when he was caught off the bowling of John Hastings (3-56).

Ben Cutting also claimed two late wickets to restrict England's charge in the closing overs, leaving Australia requiring 260 to victory in the first of five matches between the two teams.

They were given the perfect start in their run chase by openers Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch, the pair combining in a pivotal stand worth 172.

The Lions finally got a breakthrough when Ben Stokes had Finch caught by captain Taylor for 80, though Alex Doolan came in at number three to contribute 39 from 42 deliveries.

Marsh went on to reach three figures despite being hampered by a knee injury. He hurt himself taking a single on 98 but gritted it out for the run he needed and then headed back to the pavilion retired hurt.

Joe Burns finished up unbeaten on 18 as he and Tim Paine (12 not out) steered the hosts over the finishing line with five balls to spare. The second game takes place on Monday, again at the Bellerive Oval.

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