When Australia were all out on 65 runs against India in a warm-up match, overoptimistic fans played the down the defeat, saying it was just a warm-up match, after all, and the real contest would be seen when teams go head to head in the Champions Trophy. But Australia’s first performance in the tournament has proved that the present squad was just a shadow of the side that lifted the 2009 title. There was an obvious lack of vigour in their bowling, vitality in batting and an aggressive attitude and determination that had been an essential part of the team. Given the circumstances, the result was expected – England eased their way to a 48-run victory, thanks to Ian Bell’s heroics with the bat and James Anderson’s with the ball.

[caption id="attachment_1410" align="alignright" width="203"]Tim Bresnan proved he is the right choice in the place of Steven Finn (Photo: ICC) Tim Bresnan proved he is the right choice in the place of Steven Finn (Photo: ICC)[/caption]

Although India had exposed the defending champions’ vulnerability in the warm-up match, nobody had imagined that Australia would succumb to England so desperately. On the other hand, the victory helped to give England a sense of closure as they had been reeling from the shock New Zealand gave them in the ODI series held before the Champions Trophy.

England were picking the right choices from the beginning as they won the toss and chose to bat, understanding that the wicket was going to support batsmen. Australia kept on trying in vain to take wickets or stop the flow of runs, despite a five-member pace attack. They had been yearning for wickets until at least 34th over when England’s score was 168. After a 57-run opening stand, Jonathan Trott and Bell made a partnership of 111 runs, and paved the way for the hosts to cross 300, utilising the last powerplay. Then came Australia’s one-off good performance in the match and when England managed to reach 213, six of players were back to the pavilion, including Trott (43), Bell (91), Joe Root (12), Eoin Morgan (8) and Jos Buttler (1). However, England carved their way out to set a target of 270 runs for the opponents with the seventh-wicket partnership between Ravi Bopara and Tim Bresnan.

Australia’s Clint McKay and James Faulkner took two wickets apiece, while Mitchell Starc and Shane Watson also took one wicket each.

It seemed that England were 50 runs behind the target required to seal victory against the defending champions and experts were questioning the hosts’ chances of winning the match. But England bowlers made the most of the mistakes by the Aussie batsmen, who seemed to have withdrawn in their shells.

[caption id="attachment_1411" align="alignright" width="300"]The photo accurately depicts Australia’s performance in the match: clean bowled! (Photo: Getty Images) The photo accurately depicts Australia’s performance in the match: clean bowled! (Photo: Getty Images)[/caption]

Australian batsmen failed to give a smooth start. Out-of-form David Warner was dismissed by Stuart Broad after making just nine runs on 21 balls. Watson was needed to stand against the English bowling attack, but he failed to take Australia to a stronger position. George Bailey took 69 balls to score 55 which included just two fours. The required run rate continued to jump from six to seven to eight and then 10, but the strategy did not seem to change. Australia reached to the destination where they were heading to. Faulkner scored 54 off 42 in the final moments to narrow the defeat’s margin and Australia’s innings ended on 221 on nine wickets in 50 overs.

James Anderson lived up to expectations and took wicket in 10 overs against just 30 runs. He is currently England’s leading wicket-taker. Bresnan took two wickets, while Broad, Bopara, James Tredwell and Root took one wicket apiece.

England are now at first position in Group A, and second match of the group will be played tomorrow (Sunday) between Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

England vs Australia

Champions Trophy, Match 3

June 8, 2013

Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham

Result: England won by 48 runs

Man of the match: Ian Bell

Alastair Cookc †Wade b Watson304230
Ian Bellb Faulkner9111570
Jonathan Trottc †Wade b Starc435610
Joe Rootc Bailey b McKay121710
Eoin Morganb McKay81200
Ravi Boparanot out463731
Jos Buttlerb Faulkner1200
Tim Bresnannot out192020
Extras(leg-byes 12, wides 6, no-ball 1)19
Total(6 wickets; 50 overs)269


Australia (bowling)OversMaidenRunsWickets
Mitchell Starc100751
Mitchell Johnson80440
Clint McKay100382
Shane Watson70261
James Faulkner100482
Adan Voges30130
Mitchell Marsh20130


آسٹریلیاTarget: 270 runsRunsBalls4s6s
David Warnerc †Buttler b Broad92110
Shane Watsonc Cook b Bresnan244010
Phillip Hugheslbw b Root305530
George Baileyc Root b Tredwell556920
Adam Vogesb Bresnan152310
Mitchell Marshc Morgan b Anderson51210
Matthew Wadec †Buttler b Anderson1400
James Faulknernot out544251
Mitchell Johnsonc Morgan b Bopara81000
Mitchell Starcb Anderson5800
Clint McKaynot out71700
Extras(leg-byes 6, wides 1, no-balls 1)8
Total(9 wickets; 50 overs)221


England (bowling)OversMaidensRunsWickets
James Anderson100303
Stuart Broad102351
Tim Bresnan101452
James Tredwell101511
Joe Root50201
Ravi Bopara50341
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