9 Jun 2013

English bowlers suffocate slow Australians

9:25 am on 9 June 2013

Australia's Champions Trophy defence was rocked and their Ashes ambitions dealt another psychological blow, as England secured an easy 48-run victory in the Group A opener at Edgbaston.

With Michael Clarke unlikely to play in the tournament due to a back injury, Australia were pushed even further against the ropes after their batsmen failed to find any rhythm chasing England's beatable total of 6-269.

Australia finished 9-221 from their 50 overs.

With the Ashes a month away, England's bowlers were ominously on target and Australia's batsmen alarmingly unsure.

England won the toss and had no hesitation in batting, but the strip wasn't as flat as it first appeared and both teams struggled with timing.

Australia fought hard with the ball but a workmanlike 91 from England man-of-the-match Ian Bell and a late cameo of 46 not out from Ravi Bopara provided enough of a platform for the home side.

England seamers James Anderson (3-30), Tim Bresnan (2-45) and Stuart Broad (1-35) eventually suffocated the Australian batsmen after dismissing openers Dave Warner and Shane Watson before the score reached 50.

Anderson surpassed Darren Gough's mark of 234 as the highest wicket-taker in England's ODI history.

Australia must now beat New Zealand in Birmingham on Wednesday and Sri Lanka in their final pool game on June 17 to be a chance of progressing to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Australia has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the match.

George Bailey's side was ruled to be one over short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.

The have been fined 10 per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.

As such, Bailey was fined 20-per-cent of his match fee while his players received 10-per-cent fines.

The penalty was accepted by Australia without contest.