The England cricket team is a great force to reckon; be it their batting powerhouse or bowling ability, they have shown quality improvement in their fielding too — to save crucial runs and put pressure on the opponent like they did against Australia, in the virtual eliminator during the ongoing 2017 ICC Champions Trophy for visitors on Saturday (June 11).
After claiming a comprehensive 40-run win, England in other context was playing it out for Bangladesh for the semi-final race.
The occasion has witnessed brilliance from Australia too with the ball in first six overs after top-order showed some significant promise with the willow and late-order surrendered before England’s much-improved bowling which has been bolstered by leg-spinner Adil Rashid after missing out the inaugural game of ICC Champions Trophy against Bangladesh.
Interestingly, the superlative performance from Morgan and Co. had witnessed quality cricketing shots without too much of a fuss and the clean hitting from skipper Morgan himself made it easier for three Lions to frustrate Australian bowlers, who looked bleak after both the batsmen set their eye in.
Here’re the five points of the highly-anticipated clash between England and Australia.
The Great Ben Stokes Struck Hundred:
If there was anyone who showed the application, dedication and courage; he was Ben Stokes, who not only shifted the gears but made batting ridiculously easier when England was reeling at 35 for three after the outstanding start from Australian fast bowlers with the new ball as Steven Smith’s side didn’t hinge on the chances that were on offer.
The adamant Stokes was in complete control, as he played some fine strokes to rebuild England’s innings alongside skipper Eoin Morgan.
Piercing gaps and sending a couple of maximums into the stands, the Christchurch-born Stokes remained unbeaten on 102 off 109 deliveries, as he registered his maiden ICC Champions Trophy century to knock Australia out of the multilateral event.
Jason Roy Claim A Stunner:
Who would’ve thought Australia would lose five wickets for just 15 runs in five overs, but as it has been said: ‘cricket is the game of glorious uncertainties.’
Australia’s dramatic collapse started off with a sensational catch of swashbuckling Glenn Maxwell (20 off 31), from Jason Roy in the deep when he jumped to the perfection, before making a safe landing on time; to balance himself, Roy released the ball and completed the catch while come back on to the ground after cross the cushioned boundary rope.
Roy was praised for his acrobatics on the field while playing a crucial role to send Maxwell timely back to the pavilion, but he has to deliver with the bat in a bid to maintain his position at the top.
Stokes-Morgan Record Partnership:
After Australia had an upper hand in the first powerplay, it was Ben Stokes and England skipper Eoin Morgan, who launched an assault on quality Australian bowling line up – to set the new record for the fourth wicket against Ashes rivals in One-day Internationals.
The side has not only laid the strong plinth for England, for the third consecutive win but has frustrated the Australian fielders from time-to-time, who looked dismal on the day that is further a rare sight in the game of cricket.
Stoke and Morgan posted 159-run partnership off 158 balls, for the fourth wicket as Stokes contributed 85 off 90 balls and Morgan collected 67-ball 73, before Jos Butler contributed 29 off 32 balls and Stokes 17 off 20 for the fifth wicket unbeaten 46-run partnership off 52 deliveries.
Mark Wood To Hazlewood, Adil Rashid Show:
Bowling in Tandem Mark Wood, who boasts pace, and Adil Rashid has been working on bagful of trick did the damage to Australia by sharing four wickets each on a surface which was touted to assist batsmen in general, but hitting the right area both bowlers made it difficult task for the visitors after plinth was set by the top-order including Aaron Finch and skipper Steven Smith.
The 27-year-old Ashington-born right-arm fast bowler Mark Wood picked his career best of four for 33, in his quota of 10 overs.
At the other end, the Bradford-born Rashid used his slow bowling according to the field and a plan, conceded 41 runs to pick four crucial wickets in his 10 overs which further dent Australia after aiming to register 300-plus target while hinging on a decent start.
Australia allowed a lot of freebies following the Josh Hazlewood breezy spell at the start of the second innings in which he claimed two wickets after Mitchell Starc sent out-of-form Jason Roy back to pavilion at the score of four, on the very second ball on the England’s innings.
Rain Nemesis For Australia:
Australia and its die-hard fans had a dismal chapter to read out in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy following a loss against England which was also affected by inclement weather as England emerge winners by being forty runs ahead of the Kangaroos, on the Duckworth-Lewis Method when rain poured down heavily at the Edgbaston.
Interestingly, Australian could have been more threatening for the hosts when the weather improved which didn’t witness swing from Aussie pace portent.
Coming to the first match, Australia were chasing the target of 291 thanks to Josh Hazlewood’s six-for which restricted New Zealand batsman.
While going for an all-together different plan, Australians struggled with the bat as they lost three crucial wickets at 53 runs in nine overs when the match was called-off.
In their second game against Bangladesh, Australia was in commanding position while going at brisk pace, as they posted 83 for one in 16 overs, after bundling out the Tigers for 182 in 44.3 overs.