Group A: England 269-6 beat Australia 221-9 by 48 runs.
England claimed first blood in this summer’s Ashes battle with Australia after crushing their opponents by 48 runs in their opening Champions Trophy Group match.
Ian Bell top scores with 91 as England recovered from a middle order collapse to set Australia 270 to win in 50 overs.
Their counterparts fell well short however, as James Anderson took three wickets to become England’s leading wicket-taker in One Day Internationals.
It means ‘The Pom’s’ have landed the first psychological blow on the Aussies ahead of the first Ashes Test Match, starting on July 8th at Trent Bridge.
On a bright sunny summers day at Edgbaston, England batted first and built a solid platform with Alistair Cook partnering Ian Bell. The pair went past 1,000 runs together opening the batting for their country. Only Nick Knight and Marcus Trescothick have passed that milestone before.
15 of the last 22 ODI’s between these two sides have been won by the team chasing a target, but on a dry wicket England were looking to bat Australia out of the game.
Bell played with his usual class, and was ably support by Cook (30) and Jonathan Trott (43), before a middle-order collapse.
As has been the case in recent times, when Bell was clean bowled by James Faulkner for 91, the rest of England’s team followed the Warwickshire man back to the dressing room.
Joe Root (12), Eoin Morgan (8) and Jos Buttler (1) all went very quickly as England went from 168-1 in the 34th over, to 213-6 in the 43rd.
That left Ravi Bopara (46*) and Tim Bresnan (19*) to guide England to a competitive total.
Bopara hit the only six of England’s innings, as he held off the Australia seams, led by Clint McKay (2-38). Left-arm bowlers James Faulkner (2-48) and Mitchell Starc (1-75) received some treatment towards the end of the innings.
England assumed control of the game right from the start of the Aussie innings, and when Buttler took a brilliant diving catch to remove David Warner (9), England never looked back.
The hosts of the tournament kept chipping away at the Aussie batsmen, first Bresnan removed Shane Watson for 24, then Joe Root trapped Phillip Hughes lbw for 30 before Bresnan claimed his second bowling Adam Voges for 15.
That left Australia needing 143 from the final 17 overs.
James Anderson then took centre stage, claiming the wickets of Mitchell Marsh (5) Matthew Wade (1) to become England’s leading wicket-taker in the format, beating Darren Gough’s tally of 234.
James Tredwell, in for the I hired Graeme Swann, then removed Australia caption George Bailey (55) and James Faulkner (54*) ensured the Aussies weren’t bowled out.
England sealed the 48-run victory and top Group A, but perhaps more importantly go one-nil up in the Ashes battle.
England 269-6 (50 overs)
Bell 91, Bopara 46*, Trott 43; McKay 2-38
Australia 221-9 (50 overs)
Bailey 55, Faulkner 54*; Anderson 3-30, 2-45
Man of the Match: Ian Bell