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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Bell, Anderson shine as England crush Australia

Bell, Anderson shine as England crush Australia

Last updated on: June 08, 2013 23:34 IST

Ian Bell top scored with a mature innings of 91 and James Anderson claimed three wickets to help England crush Australia by 48 runs in their Group A match of the Champions Trophy in Birmingham, on Saturday.

Electing to bat, England first posted a challenging 269 for six, despite some good bowling by the Australian bowlers in the middle overs.

England's bowlers led by an impressive performance from their opening bowlers -- Anderson and Stuart Broad -- put Australia under pressure right from the start as they finished on a disappointing 221 for nine in their 50 overs.

- Scorecard | Images

Anderson also became the highest wicket-taker in ODIs for England during his three-wicket haul as he took his tally to 237 wickets going Darren Gough's haul of 235 wickets.

He got good support from fellow pacers Tim Bresnan (2/45) and Stuart Broad (1/35) who never let Australia off the hook with some disciplined bowling.

Spinners James Tredwell (1/51) and part-time spinners Joe Root (1/20) and Ravi Bopara (1/34) also made good contributions with the ball with Australia's batsmen not able to break free.

For Australia, skipper George Bailey was the top-scorer with a 69-ball 55, while James Faulkner scored an unbeaten 54 but they never got the support from the other end as Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

Chasing 270 to win, Australian openers David Warner and Shane Watson found the going tough right from the beginning, thanks to a tight and consistent line by England pacers.

The first boundary for Australia came only in the fourth over when Watson came up with a well-timed flick across the square leg.

However, Broad accounted for Warner (9) in the sixth over when he induced an edged off the batsman to Jos Buttler, who took a fine diving catch behind the stumps.

Two overs later, Watson and Hughes managed two boundaries -- one off a miscued leading edge by the opener, while the other an excellent drive by the new batsman. However, with the seamers bowling in tandem, Australia could manage only 35 runs after 10 overs.

Bresnan was introduced into the attack then and Hughes welcomed him with an sweetly-timed drive past extra cover for a much-needed boundary. However, the pacer along with spinner Tredwell tightened the screw further to dry up the runs.

Bresnan was rewarded for his hard work as he dismissed Watson in the 15th over when he trapped him leg before wicket in his third over.

The 23rd over turned out to be a good over for Australia as they piled up 13 runs with the help of two boundaries. But things worsened for Australia when Joe Root dismissed Hughes in the 26th over, leg before wicket.

Skipper Bailey and Adam Voges then combined as Australia crossed the 100-mark in the 28th over but quick runs still eluded them.

In the 33rd over, Bailey decided to go for the Batting Powerplay but the decision backfired as Bresnan cleaned up Voges in his fourth delivery when he was trying to go for a big hit.

Anderson then picked up Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade in one over to reduce the visitors to 136 for six in 36 overs.

Marsh was caught by Eoin Morgan off a loose stroke in the first ball of the 36th over, while Wade edged Anderson's last ball to Buttler as Australia could manage only 16 runs for three wickets in the Powerplay.

Bailey brought up his fifty in the 37th over but he was dismissed by Tredwell in the 40th over when he tried to dance down the pitch, looking to accelarate.

Faulkner hit a half-century but could not prevent Australia from slumping to a defeat in their campaign opener.

Earlier, Bell top scored with 91 but Australia's bowlers put up an impressive display to restrict England to 269 for six.

Bell, who recently scored 82 against New Zealand in the final match of the ODI series, kept the momentum going as he planned his innings perfectly but his dismissal led to a middle-order collapse which stopped England well short of the 300-run mark which looked inevitable at one stage.

Bell's partnership of 111 with Jonathan Trott, who made 43, was the backbone of the English innings.

Ravi Bopara provided the boost in the final overs with a quickfire 46 from 37 balls, adding 56 runs for the unbroken seventh wicket stand with Tim Bresnan (19 not out) after England were reduced to 213 for six.

Seamers Clint Mckay (2/38) and James Faulkner (2/48) were the most successful bowlers.

During his 115-ball innings, Bell hit seven boundaries and seldom did he hit any rash stroke.

Opting to bat, Bell along with skipper Alastair Cook (30) added 57 runs for the opening stand before Shane Watson got the breakthrough. He induced an edge off Cook's bat which was taken by Matthew Wade behind the stumps.

Bell found an able ally in Trott as the duo added 111 runs in only 22 overs. They kept a steady run-rate in the middle overs, dealing in singles and twos, without taking any risks.

Trott, who was playing the role of second fiddle to perfection finally made a mistake when he chased a widish delivery from Mitchell Starc to be caught by Wade.

Bell, on the other hand, kept his cool as he slowly approached the three-figure mark. The experienced right-hander looked to heading for a deserved century before he missed a straight delivery from Faulkner and was bowled.

The collapse started at this very juncture as young Joe Root (12) was out in the very next over without a single run being added to the score. Root flicked a slower one from Mckay to Goerge Bailey fielding at midwicket as England slipped to 189 for four.

Eoin Morgan (8) shuffled across and lost the leg-stump in the process off Mckay while Jos Butler (1) was played-on to give Faulkner his second scalp.

The second Powerplay proved to be a productive one for Australia as England scored only 23 runs and lost two wickets in the process.

Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images