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Champions Trophy 2017: Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan Star as England Send Australia Packing; Bangladesh Enter Semis

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: June 10, 2017, 11:25 PM IST
Champions Trophy 2017: Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan Star as England Send Australia Packing; Bangladesh Enter Semis

Morgan and Stokes put on a partnership of 159 runs (Getty Images)

Birmingham: A scintillating century from all-rounder Ben Stokes and and a brilliant 87 from captain Eoin Morgan helped England sink Australia by 40 runs via Duckworth Lewis in a Champions Trophy Group A encounter here on Saturday.

The result also knocked two-time champions Australia out of the tournament with Bangladesh qualifying for the semis as the second team from Group A.

England had a disastrous start to their innings with Jason Roy (4) falling in the very first over. His partner Alex Hales (0) and Joe Root (15) soon followed suit and had England reeling at 35/3 after 5.4 overs.

But then Morgan and Stokes surely but steadily started to build a partnership when the match was halted by rain. After the break though both batsmen came out all guns blazing.

The counter attack was an effective one as the run-rate surged upwards. Early on, Morgan was the aggressor as he first stuck on to Josh Hazlewood and then Glenn Maxwell, taking them to the cleaners.

Once Stokes found his touch, he too got into the act by playing some delightful shots. Such was his stroke making that he beat Morgan to the half-century, who was well ahead in terms of runs at one stage.

The duo put on 159 runs for the fourth wicket but then Morgan was run-out by a brilliant throw from Zampa.

Buttler joined Stokes out in the middle and the Australians believed they were in with a chance. However, the hard-hitting wicket-keeper batsman too started striking it wonderfully from the outset.

Stokes found just the support he was looking for and went onto score his hundred with ease but rains halted the contest again. The game could not resume thereafter and England were declared winners.

Earlier in the day, Travis Head propelled Australia to a respectable 277 for nine with his fiery unbeaten 71-run knock after England's Mark Wood and Adil Rashid caused a batting collapse in the game.

Put into bat, Aaron Finch (68) and Steve Smith (56) blasted twin half centuries at the top, while Head scored an unbeaten fifty down the order after the hosts decided to bowl.

Seamer Wood (4/33) and spinner Rashid (4/41) snapped four wickets each, while Ben Stokes (1/49) took one wicket at Edgbaston here.

In their must-win encounter, World Champions Australia lost opener David Warner (21) in the eighth over when he edged a Wood delivery and was caught by wicket-keeper Jos Butler.

Finch and Smith then dug their heels and ensured Australia don't suffer any more hiccups and brought up the first 50 runs in 8.5 overs.

The duo rotated the strike well and picked up odd boundaries to guide Australia across the 100-mark in 18 overs.

Meanwhile, Finch completed his 50 off 47 balls in the 17th over with the help of seven fours. But he became a victim of Stokes in the 23rd over when a miscued shot was smartly taken by Eoin Morgan, rushing from mid-off.

At 136-2, Moises Henriques joined Smith and the duo brought up the 150 in 25.3 overs. But the former couldn't stay longer as his miscued slog shot was holed out at mid-on by
Plunkett off Rashid.

In the 31st over, Smith sent Plunkett for a boundary to reach his fifty off 68 balls with the help of five fours. One over later, Plunkett caught the Australian captain at mid-off after he failed to negotiate a Wood delivery.

Head and Glenn Maxwell (20) then shared 58 runs off 62 balls to take Australia to 239.

However, Australia suffered a collapse after that losing Maxwell, Matthew Wade (2), Mitchell Starc (0), Pat Cummins (4) and Adam Zampa (0) within 15 runs as they failed to accelerate in the end overs.

Head hit some lusty blows towards the end to prop up Australia.

((With PTI inputs))

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First Published: June 10, 2017, 11:22 PM IST

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