England got their Champions Trophy campaign off to a winning start by sealing a comprehensive 48-run victory over Australia in their Group A clash at Edgbaston.
Alastair Cook’s side, without spinner Graeme Swann who was sidelined with a sore back, batted first on a good wicket to set their old rivals a total of 270 runs to win as opener Ian Bell led the way with a classy 91, backed up by a quickfire 46 from Ravi Bopara.
Australia’s run-chase was unconvincing from the outset as openers David Warner and Shane Watson both struggled, and the hosts secured a morale-boosting opening victory in the tournament as they left George Bailey’s side 221 for nine and still well adrift after their 50 overs with James Anderson passing Darren Gough's record of 234 as England's top wicket-taker in the 50-over format.
It was an encouraging performance from Cook’s side after they had suffered a disappointing ODI series defeat to New Zealand on home soil, and it gives the hosts an early triumph over Australia ahead of back-to-back Ashes campaigns.
The emphatic win puts England top of Group A with New Zealand and Sri Lanka - England's other two opponents in the opening stage of the tournament - to meet in their opening match in Cardiff on Sunday.
Cook said: "It was a good performances all-round, the pitch got slower and lower after 30 overs. We should have got around 300 from where we were 180 for two but I thought 270 was good enough. When they were 30 off 10 I thought Jimmy and Broady were exceptional."
The England captain won the toss in fine weather as Edgbaston celebrated hosting its 100th international match and after the captain departed for 30, Jonathan Trott, who scored 43, put on 111 with Bell for the second wicket in 22 overs.
The Warwickshire duo's partnership on their home ground anchored the innings, but England built modestly on the foundation laid until Bopara and Tim Bresnan combined in the final overs.
After Trott was caught behind by Matthew Wade off the bowling of Mitchell Starc, Bell combined briefly with Joe Root until he was bowled by the impressive James Faulkner, who finished with two for 48 from his 10 overs.
Root could only compile a fleeting knock as he departed for 12 to give Clint McKay his first wicket, with Eoin Morgan becoming his second scalp with the England number five falling for just eight as the hosts stuttered unconvincingly in the middle overs.
Jos Buttler, whose heroics salvaged a consolation win for England to end their frustratingly mixed series with New Zealand at Trent Bridge, could only add one run before he was bowled by Faulkner, but that left Bresnan (19 not out) and Bopara to steer their side through with a flurry of late boundaries.
Australia's reply suffered early setbacks as England removed the dangerous David Warner in the sixth over for just nine as Stuart Broad had the left-handed opener caught behind.
Shane Watson and Phil Hughes both got starts with 24 and 30 respectively, but Bresnan and Root accounted for the pair as England prevented a partnership from developing.
Adam Voges was bowled by Bresnan for 15 before Mitchell Marsh was dismissed to give Anderson the wicket that saw the paceman surpass Gough's record for ODI wickets, albeit from 12 more matches than the Yorkshireman.
The hosts were disciplined and tidy with the ball and spinner James Tredwell, who replaced Swann, dismissed the doughty Australian captain Bailey whose 55 was an isolated resistance prior to Faulkner's belligerent unbeaten 54 off 42 balls late on.
Wade, Mitchell Johnson and Starc all failed to make a meaningful impression with the bat as the final overs were played out in tame fashion with England already assured of victory, and it was a limp performance from Australia as they slip behind in Group A.
For England it was the perfect start to the tournament ahead of their two further group matches against Sri Lanka at The Oval on June 13 and New Zealand in Cardiff on June 16.
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