England got its Champions Trophy journey off to an ideal start by defeating struggling Australia in the first match of Group A, 269-221.
After winning the toss England elected to bat first. The host country was clearly hoping to post a big score and put a boatload of pressure on the troubled Australian side. The two-time defending tournament champions haven't been playing at the level entering the event.
The plan wasn't a complete success as it felt England left some runs on the pitch, but it was still a solid showing overall. The Poms posted a score of 269, in large part due to a late charge after what was a disappointingly sluggish start at Edgbaston.
Although Ian Bell led the way, don't overlook the contributions of Ravi Bopara, who provided a boost when England was fading. It gave the group some momentum heading into the break. He's had a lot of success against the Aussies lately.
All told, it wasn't a perfect performance from England by any means. The Poms will have to improve moving forward in order to become a serious championship contender. But they did enough to put Australia in a tough position.
The Aussies weren't able to meet the challenge.
Led by Jimmy Anderson, who became England's all-time leading wicker taker in One Day International play, strong performances from the England bowlers and yet another lackluster showing from Australia's batsmen, there was no comeback in the cards.
Former England star Michael Vaughan gave credit to captain Alastair Cook for setting the team up for success throughout the match.
Captain Cook having a very good day... Clever bowling changes and excellent fields being set.... #EngvAus— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 8, 2013
While the praise of Cook is warranted considering the result, it all comes back to the struggles of the Aussie batsmen. They must improve for the team to rebound moving forward.
Australia return to the pitch on June 12 to take on New Zealand. England play the next day against Sri Lanka as the Poms look to earn another win in Group A. For a complete look at the upcoming tournament schedule, visit the ICC's official site.
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