A clinical performance from England has brought Australia’s unimpressive Champions Trophy 2017 campaign to an end, affirming their rightful status as tournament favorites and also sending Bangladesh through to the semi-finals in the process.
The raw power of Ben Stokes, who scored a match-winning, unbeaten 102, and the pace of Mark Wood were too hot to handle for Australia — who finally played their first completed match of the multi-team event — as they succumbed to a 40-run defeat in a rain-reduced encounter at Edgbaston on Saturday (June 10).
Chasing 278 for victory, England got off to a horrible start as they were reduced to 3-35 inside first 6 overs before the rain that has tormented them throughout this tour intervened. Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc managed to pick 3 crucial English wickets before the covers were called to put England at a disadvantage.
However, The a 45-minute delay allowed the hosts to regroup and then explode, as Stokes (102) and Morgan (87) combined for a decisive 159-run for the fourth wicket to put England within sights of victory. By the time rain interrupted again to call it a day, Stokes’ remarkable century had already ensured England were miles ahead of the DLS par score.
Earlier, Australia had limped to 9-277 from their 50 overs after being put into bat, with Travis Head (71), Aron Finch (68) and Steven Smith (56) all helping themselves to half-centuries. At one stage Aussies looked on course to post a total in excess of 300 but a late collapse saw them lose 5-15 in less than 30 deliveries to make even 300 unattainable. But Head, who displayed a fine composure throughout his innings, forged a vital 23-run stand with Hazlewood at the end to lift his side to 277.
Wood was the pick of the bowlers for England as he returned career-best ODI figures of 4 for 33
England will now face the winner of Monday’s match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in semis, while the winner of Sunday’s clash between India and South Africa will play Bangladesh in Birmingham.
England 240 for 4 (Ben Stokes 102*, Eoin Morgan 87) beat Australia 277 for 9 (Travis Head 71, Aeron Finch 68, Steven Smith 56, Mark Wood 4-33, Rashid 4-41) by 40 runs (DLS method)