James Anderson overtook Darren Gough to be his country’s leading wicket taker in one-day cricket as England beat Australia by 48-runs in their opening Champions Trophy match.
After opting to bat first England put 270 on the board with Ian Bell reaching his highest score of 91 at Edgbaston and in reply the Aussies could only score 221-9.
Bell played an anchoring throughout his innings and put on 57 with his opening partner Alistair Cook before Shane Watson removed the England skipper for 30 caught behind by Mathew Wade.
Jonathon Trott gave good support to Bell by sharing a stand of 111 in 22 overs taking England to a strong position at 168-1 (33.4 overs). In the next few overs the hosts lost Trott (43) and Joe Root followed him back to pavilion for 12 off Clint McKay (2-38).
Bell contributed well with some neat strokes and occasionally played cracking drives but after Root’s dismissal he soon fell for 91 off 115 balls when James Faulkner bowled him out with a straight delivery.
From 168-1 England were now in some bother after a poor display in the batting powerplay, Eoin Morgan lost his leg-stump and Jos Buttler fell to Faulkner leaving England on 213-6.
An unbeaten partnership of 56 from Ravi Bopara and Tim Bresnan pushed the final score to 269 as Bopara hit three fours and one maximum in his 36-ball 46 not out.
Australia’s bowling options lacked a specialist spinner on a gripping surface, and among the pacers Mitchell Starc (1-75) was a huge disappointment.
In reply, the openers started with a slow run rate which put plenty of pressure on the middle order batsmen and they never looked like recovering. David Warner was first to fall for nine when he carved at an angled delivery from Stuart Broad presenting a catch to Buttler.
By the 15th over the run rate had barely touched three and more bad news struck the Aussies, Watson (24) was dismissed by Bresnan leaving score on 47-2.
Skipper George Bailey and Phil Hughes could only provide a mini recovery with a 37 run partnership before Root had his first one-day wicket when he had Hughes leg before.
The only batsmen to show any glimpses of quality was Bailey as he reached his 6th ODI fifty, the next three wickets all went down in quick succession. First, Adam Voges lost his middle and off-stump, Anderson (3-30) had Mitchell Marsh caught behind to top the England wicket taking list and after Wade’s wicket Australia were left stumbling on 136-6.
Bailey lost his patience on 55 in an attempt to play a big shot off James Tredwell he could only manage to loop the ball straight to Root in the deep leaving the Aussies seven down.
Faulkner’s 38-ball half-century at least ensured Australia played out the 50 overs which limited the damage on their net run-rate and they left Edgbaston with some pride intact as the innings concluded on 221-9.
Alongside Anderson’s fine spell, Bresnan (2-45) and Broad (1-35) chipped in to give England a comfortable victory in Group A.