Champions Trophy: Ben Stokes hits century as England eliminate Australia
|Champions Trophy, Group A, Edgbaston:|
|Australia 277-9 (50 overs): Finch 68, Wood 4-33, Rashid 4-41|
|England 240-4 (40.2 overs): Stokes 102*, Morgan 87|
|England won by 40 runs (DLS method)|
A blistering 102 not out from Ben Stokes saw England romp past Australia by 40 runs on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern calculations and dump their rivals out of the Champions Trophy.
England had been reduced to 6-2 and then 35-3 chasing 278 to win, as Australia's pace attack threatened to take the game away.
But a thrilling partnership of 159 at almost exactly a run a ball between Stokes and Eoin Morgan first launched a counter-attack and then led a romp.
Australia, the reigning one-day world champions, will head home before the knockout stages without a single win, their defeat also sending Bangladesh through.
Having seen rain ruin their first two games, they found themselves pegged back from 147-2 at the halfway point of their innings, Adil Rashid and Mark Wood both taking four wickets.
Under grey skies, they were then helpless in the face of Stokes and Morgan's power hitting, all three of their quick bowlers going at more than five an over.
When the rain came again with 9.4 overs remaining, England were 240-4, well above the par score.
The hosts, already in the semi-finals after comfortable wins over Bangladesh and New Zealand, will be the only team in the last four with a 100% record, looking every inch the pre-tournament favourites.
Stokes and Morgan thrill capacity crowd
With the out-of-form Jason Roy going second ball and Alex Hales caught at slip for a duck, England found themselves two wickets down before the second over was done.
When Joe Root was dismissed for a quick 15, the first rain interruption seemed to offer sweet relief to the home side.
Instead, they resumed as if cantering, Morgan hitting the first two balls after the restart for four, the fifty partnership rattling up off just 44 deliveries.
Pat Cummins shipped 33 runs off his first four-over spell as the two batsmen raced each other to their half-centuries, Stokes reaching his off 39 balls with a brutal pulled six off Mitchell Starc.
Twenty of the deliveries he faced were dot balls, meaning he had scored 52 off just 19 balls.
And as the record crowd at Edgbaston celebrated, the two carried on at the same destructive rate, the hundred partnership garlanded by four sixes and 12 fours.
It came as a shock when a mix-up saw Morgan run out for an 81-ball 87, but Stokes and Jos Buttler steered them to the brink before the weather intervened for the final time.
Rashid to the rescue
Australia had started their innings at pace, racing to 136-1 thanks to Aaron Finch's 68 off 64 balls and looking good to kick on, only for Rashid and Wood to intervene in thrilling fashion.
Rashid, dropped for England's first match of the tournament, initially tightened the screw, his opening spell of seven overs yielding only 26 runs.
And when he returned he reaped the benefit of that pressure, taking three wickets for 15 runs in his remaining overs - the wickets coming in a brilliant 10-ball burst.
Not once in his cumulative 10 overs was he hit to the boundary, keeping the Australia batsmen scoreless for 28 deliveries and down to a single off 23 more.
Wood, used in three bursts by skipper Morgan, took the key wicket of David Warner in his first spell and then returned to have the dangerous Steve Smith caught by Liam Plunkett at mid-off for 56.
Two balls after the same fielder had dropped a straightforward chance off Glenn Maxwell, Roy then took a sensational catch at deep mid-wicket, catching the ball high above his head and then flinging it up as he staggered across the boundary before stepping back to catch it again inside the rope.
It left Wood with figures of 4-33, his best return in one-day internationals, and Australia were grateful to Travis Head for a rapid 71 not out that took them towards a more competitive total.
'We were close to our best' - what they said
England captain Eoin Morgan on BBC Test Match Special: "This is a tournament you need to be at your best to win games of cricket, and we were close to it.
"The partnership was powerful - the way we went about it put Australia on the back foot a little bit and that bodes well for the semi-final."
Man of the match Ben Stokes: "To still have the confidence to play the way that we did even after losing those three early wickets is a credit to how far we have come.
"No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we keep going at it and backing our game."
Australia captain Steve Smith: "It's been disappointing to have not got a complete game in but you can't make excuses. We've got some quality cricketers but we didn't turn up."
The stats you need to know
- Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes' past four ODI partnerships have been 110, 68, 95 and 159
- Their stand at Edgbaston is the highest fourth-wicket stand for England against Australia in an ODI since Allan Lamb and Derek Randall put on 139 at the MCG in 1983
- Eoin Morgan has hit more sixes in the Champions Trophy than any other player, with seven in three innings
- Josh Hazlewood was hit for three sixes for the first time in an ODI innings
- Mark Wood's 4-33 are his best figures in ODIs
- Wood and Adil Rashid are the most economical bowlers of those who have bowled 15-plus overs in the tournament