James Anderson

James Anderson became the leading wicket-taker for England in ODIs © Getty Images

By Sarang Bhalerao

Birmingham: Jun 8, 2013

Disciplined England thrashed Australia by 48 runs in a Group A encounter of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Australia never got going courtesy of disciplined bowling performance by England bowlers. James Anderson (3 for 30) was the pick of the bowlers. For Australia, skipper George Bailey waged a lone battle top-scoring with 55. James Faulkner scored an unbeaten half century [54 off 42 deliveries]. Apart from that no Australian batsman scored a substantial score chasing 270.

The England opening bowlers — James Anderson and Stuart Broad started the proceedings bowling an incessant line and length. The Australian aggressive opening batsmen —David Warner and Shane Watson weren’t given succor balls. The England inner ring was sharp. The pressure was put on the Australians.

In the sixth over, Warner attempted an expansive shot off a wide delivery bowled by Broad. The footwork from Warner was static and he flashed hard at the delivery. The result was a thick outside edge that was held by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler diving to his left. Warner scored a 21-ball nine. After the loss of his opening batsman, the onus of stabilizing the innings fell on Watson’s shoulders. He scored his first boundary off Broad in the eight over, albeit in a streaky fashion when a leading edge eluded skipper Alastair Cook at slips. In contrast to Watson, Philip Hughes hit a sublime cover-drive for a boundary to get off the mark.

Hughes took time to get in. He played out a couple of maiden overs — off Broad and off-spinner James Tredwell. This put some pressure on Watson to get the run-rate moving. He played Tim Bresnan’s full delivery across the line and got a thin inside-edge which flew to Cook at gully. England were not giving anything away.

To compound the matters for Australia, Tredwell found his rhythm and got sharp turn off the track. Hughes was struggling to get the ball off the square. Cook found this an opportune time to introduce his fifth bowling option — Ravi Bopara and part-time off spinner Joe Root against Hughes and skipper Bailey. Australia were in a dilemma whether to attack or look for the singles. Australia chose latter and Root bowled a couple of parsimonious overs. Bopara, however went for runs. In his second over, Australia took 13 off him that included a couple of boundaries — a pull from Bailey and a straight hit from Hughes.

Just when Australia looked like forging a partnership, Root trapped Hughes leg-before for 30. The ball was a tad quicker than what Hughes expected. He went deep into his crease trying to hit the ball towards square-leg but missed the ball and was caught plumb in front. At 94 for three in the 26th over, Australia needed some a decent partnership in quick time. Broad was introduced into the attack to take a wicket in his second spell. He gave away only six off his two comeback overs.

Adam Voges walked in at No. 5 and found run-scoring difficult. He managed to reverse-sweep Tredwell and put him off in the 32nd over of the innings. By that time the required run-rate had reached above eight runs per over. Australia looked to press on the accelerator. They took the batting Powerplay in the 33rd over, but paid the price immediately. Voges tried to hit Bresnan over the top but failed to cover the late inswing, leaving a huge gap between bat and pad. The ball cannoned on to his stumps. He was dismissed for a 23-ball 15.

Looking for quick runs, Australia collapsed courtesy of accurate English bowling. Mitchell Marsh was dismissed looking to play an uppish cut. He was caught by Eoin Morgan at backward point off Anderson, who became leading wicket-taker for England in ODIs surpassing Darren Gough’s tally of 234 wickets. Matthew Wade edged an inswinger in the same over and was caught behind for one.

With the required run-rate increasing exponentially, Bailey attempted to hit Tredwell straight down the ground but managed to find long-on. Australia’s hope of a miraculous comeback was gone.

Batting at No. 8, Faulkner an unbeaten half-century — 54 runs. His innings was one of the positives that emerged out of this game for Australia.  But that it didn’t affect the end result as England were fairly in control of the game right through their bowling innings.
Read the first innings report here

Brief Scores:

England 269 for 6 in 50 overs (Ian Bell 91, Ravi Bopara 46*; Clint McKay 2 for 38, James Faulkner 2 for 48) beat Australia 221 for 9 in 50 overs (George Bailey 55, James Faulkner ; James Anderson 3 for 30) by 48 runs.

Man of the Match: Ian Bell

Full Scorecard

Photo Gallery

(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)