ICC Champions Trophy 2017, England vs. Australia: 5 Talking Points
The hosts England ran over a mighty Australian side albeit with some help from the rain at Birmingham on Saturday thus knocking them out of the tournament. In doing so, both England and Bangladesh qualified for the semi-finals from the group. England won all three of their matches in the group stage while Bangladesh won one, lost one and had no result in another.
Australia, on the other hand, could not manage a single with rain playing a spoilsport time and again in their campaign.
Winning the toss, England skipper Eoin Morgan decided to field first but failed to make any early inroad as the Aussies started off well – scoring 136/1 in around 23 overs. However, things started going wrong as soon as Steven Smith (56) and Aaron Finch (68) departed. Australia could only manage 277/9 in their 50 overs that too because of an unbeaten 71 from Travis Head.
Australia started their bowling with a bang – reducing England to 35/3 inside six overs. However, once Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes then took command as the Three Lions didn’t look back again. Morgan was unfortunately run out for 87 (81). But, Stokes went on to score a century and remained unbeaten on 102 along with Jos Buttler (29*) before rain interrupted play and England were later declared the winners by 40 runs via the D/L method.
#1 Finch-Smith partnership raised hopes for a high score
Australia’s opening stand lasted 7.2 overs for 40 runs as Mark Wood claimed the wicket of David Warner with an absolute cracker of a delivery. However, skipper Steven Smith along with opener Aaron Finch ensured that they don’t lose any more wickets as they stitched together a cautious 96 run partnership for the second wicket.
Finch was the aggressor in the partnership while Smith played second fiddle. It was finally good for Finch to find some form after two consecutive poor outings with the bat in the previous two matches. He hammered his way to a knock of 68 runs off just 64 deliveries which consisted of 8 fours. Steven Smith also nudged his way to a half-century.
The partnership finally came to an end when Finch attempted a big shot off Ben Stokes’ bowling and ended up miscuing it only to be caught at cover by Eoin Morgan. Australia were thus reduced to 136/2 in the 23rd over. Smith also departed soon after four overs when he chipped one off Mark Wood’s bowling straight to Liam Plunkett at mid-off.