No changes for England or Australia at Edgbaston
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 11, 2017,
Jun 11, 2017, 23:48
A win for Australia would have seen the Tigers fly home, but instead they will head to Edgbaston to play the Group B champions in the second semifinal on June 15 thanks to England's brilliant batting, powered by Ben Stokes's unbeaten century, after Mark Wood and Adil Rashid's four-wicket hauls.
England also had good reason to be grateful to Wood (four for 33) and Rashid (four for 41) as Australia lost their way from 239 for four.
Aaron Finch (68 off 64) found the middle with increasing regularity after a scratchy start and added 96 for the second wicket with Smith (56 off 77).
None of the lower order batsmen could contribute to the scorecard and the continuous loss of wickets reduced the Aussies to only 277.
When the match resumed, Morgan hit boundaries off the first two balls he faced from Australia spearhead Mitchell Starc, part of a sequence of five fours in 11 balls "We felt that the positive way was the best way", Morgan told reporters of the chat he'd had with Stokes shortly before the match got underway again.
England were already through to a Cardiff semi-final on Wednesday but have made sure they will arrive in Wales with confidence soaring. Finch was the first to depart but Smith was going strong.
Morgan finally perished when he was run out by a superb direct hit from Zampa at mid-on, but Buttler picked up where he left off and Stokes completed a genuinely masterful hundred with a ferocious cut shot off Zampa that bulleted for four and brought a standing ovation from his adoring fans.
Head and Glenn Maxwell (20) then shared 58 runs off 62 balls for the fifth wicket before the Oz suffering a collapse in the death overs. Williamson's dismissal in England's last game was decisive because the New Zealand captain was taking the match away with his batting brilliance when Wood induced an edge of his bat.
Live coverage of the ICC Champions Trophy continues on Sky Sports 2 at 10am on Sunday when India take on South Africa for a place in the semi-finals.
It was awesome how quickly Morgan and Stokes changed the momentum of the game and then sprinted towards the finish-line. To the delight of a crowd of almost 25,000, who joyously goaded Australia throughout, Stokes took apart the Australia bowling attack, with Pat Cummins taking particular punishment.
In the 31st over, Smith sent Plunkett for a boundary to reach his fifty off 68 balls with the help of five fours.
Stokes though was not to be denied, forcing leg-spinner Zampa for his 13th four to complete a 108-ball century also featuring two sixes. He took the ball high right on the rope and tossed it up to himself as he stepped out and then back in. England were 40 runs ahead of the required D/L score and were eventually declared victor.
Struggling a bit after losing three early wickets, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes helped England to chase the target easily.