England victorious in Aberdeen

England dodged the Aberdeen rain, and played sufficiently well too, to start their much-anticipated new era with a heartening 39-run one-day international victory over Scotland.

Alastair Cook scored 44 as his side secured a 39-run ODI win over Scotland
Alastair Cook scored 44 as his side secured a 39-run ODI win over Scotland

A half-century from Ian Bell, and opening stand of 83 with his captain Alastair Cook, allowed the visitors to set a Duckworth-Lewis target of 173 in a match which started several hours late at 23-overs-per-side and was reduced to 20 by another heavy shower.

Then as the bad weather stayed away at last, James Anderson soon had the hosts in trouble against the new ball - and despite some clean hitting from Aberdeen's own Michael Leask, James Tredwell finished an eventful spell with his best ODI figures of four for 41.

England therefore safely negotiated the 'banana skin' Cook warned against, to start his association with returning coach Peter Moores on a winning note.

They could be encouraged too that they have at least begun to put a little distance between themselves and their miserable winter of Ashes whitewash, Twenty20 humbling at the hands of Holland and the messy aftermath of both.

Bell (50) and Cook laid the platform for a total of 167 for six, commuted marginally upwards after England were interrupted again by the elements mid-innings.

Eoin Morgan also weighed in with a handy contribution, as did Joe Root, to put the onus on Scotland to bat well after putting their visitors in.

Bell's third half-century in five ODI innings came in just 33 balls, contained four fours and two sixes and took him second behind only Paul Collingwood in England's all-time list of 50-over runscorers.

His first maximum, up the wicket to Majid Haq's off-spin and struck over long off, brought up England's 50 in the ninth over.

But as soon as he reached his own 50, he was gone next ball - down on one knee to try to manufacture a sweep off left-arm seamer Rob Taylor and bowled round his legs.

Morgan had time to join Cook and time Taylor for a sweet boundary past mid off to get off the mark second ball, before - having already played through 15 minutes of heavy rain - the players had to leave the field, with the total 87 for one in the 12th over.

Cook and Morgan returned, the former moving to within one hit of his 50 but very well-caught trying to do so - by a diving Calum MacLeod at long off to give Taylor a second wicket.

Taylor pulled off another outstanding catch to snuff out the threat from Jos Buttler, at deep midwicket, off Josh Davey (three for 28).

But with Morgan also gone caught-behind, Root counted four with a reverse dab off Iain Wardlaw's first ball and reached 17 off just six until he holed out in the deep too, as Scotland kept holding their catches.

Chris Jordan hit the only ball he faced for six over long on to end the innings, though, and Anderson then soon undermined Scotland's run chase by seeing off both openers in his first two overs.

Matt Cross chopped on, and MacLeod went across his stumps and was bowled round his legs.

Anderson would have made it three had wicketkeeper Buttler not dropped Kyle Coetzer on one.

But there was still to be no innings to remember for the Scotland captain on his home ground, because he was bowled sweeping at Tredwell via a deflection off his arm.

A 10-over score of 55 for three suggested only the margin of England's victory remained in doubt, weather permitting.

Leask had other ideas, taking particular toll of Tredwell with some towering blows as he hit five sixes and two fours from just 16 balls.

But the off-spinner had the last laugh when another attempted big hit resulted in a catch for Anderson at deep midwicket - and Tredwell then took two more wickets in the last of his four overs to keep the equation comfortable for England.