Champions Trophy 2017: Australia v England – England Needs 278 To Knockout Australia
Australia needs to defend a mediocre first innings total of 277 for 9 in order to advance to the semi-final with a clean sheet in the group stage. After being put to bat first at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Australia, who are facing a must-win situation, lacked intensity and produced a half-hearted batting performance which largely revolved around the knocks from skipper Steve Smith (56 from 77 balls) and opener Aaron Finch (68 from 64 balls) and a late burst of 71 runs off 64 balls from Travis Head.
The Australian middle order turned out to be a failure today. Only Travis Head was an exception. The rest just could not adjust to the bowling attack on display. There was no good display of batting after the departure of Steve Smith. The skipper kept the innings together but once he departed, England quickly buckled up and did not allow the opposition any space to get going.
The 96-run stand for the 2nd wicket between Finch and Smith set the tone for the innings after the early loss of Warner. But, the duo was unable to add any pressure on the opposition. The stand was broken in the 23rd over with the fall of Finch. Smith carried on for close to 10 more overs before returning back to the pavilion shortly after completing his fifty.
Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell took care of the run flow for some time but were not allowed to free their arms. They managed 58 runs between them but England was still not bothered. Maxwell soon departed and Adil Rashid began cleaning up the tail. Fortunately, things did not go completely awry for the batting side Head held his own from one end and ended unbeaten on 71 from 64 deliveries.
Mark Wood (4/33) was the most impressive one out of the lot today. He started off with the wicket of David Warner in the 8th over. The beautiful away swinger was too much for the left-hander to cope with. Later, he added Steve Smith to his kitty and went on to dismiss Maxwell and Adam Zampa to end hi spell on a high note.
Adil Rashid was, however, the chief wrecker with his spell of 4/41. The leg-spinner, who was brought into the attack in the 18th over of the innings, was re-introduced in the 42nd over and caused maximum damages to the batting side. His seven over spell early on got him only one wicket at the cost of 26 runs.
But, the second spell was a high impact one. After a quiet comeback in the 42nd overs, he came back in the following over to claim two wickets that of – Mathews Wade and Mitchell Starc – in the space of just three balls. He ended with another wicket, removing Pat Cummins in his final over to end with spectacular numbers.
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