Ian Bell cracked a responsible 91 and James Anderson scalped three wickets as England dished out a disciplined allround performance to notch up a convincing 48-run victory over Australia in their Group A match of the Champions Trophy in Birmingham on Saturday.
Riding on Bell's
half-century, England first posted a challenging 269 for six, despite some good bowling by the Australian bowlers, after electing to bat.
The hosts then returned to tighenten the noose around Australia's neck with a very disciplined bowling display and eventually restricted the visitors for 221-9 in their 50 overs at Edgbaston here.
Seamer James Anderson became the highest wicket-taker in one-day cricket for England during his three-wicket haul as he along with Tim Bresnan (2/45) and Stuart Broad (1/35) put Australia under trememdous pressure.
Spinners James Tredwell (1/51) and part-time spinners Joe Root (1/20) and Ravi Bopara (1/34) also supported the pacers well and didn't allow the Aussies to free their arms.
For Australia, skipper George Bailey was the top-scorer with a 69-ball 55, while James Faulkner scored an unbeaten 54 but they never got the support from the other end as Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Earlier, Bell's partnership of 111 with Jonathan Trott, who made 43, was the backbone of the English innings as Bopara (46 no, 3x4, 1x6) struck a few meaty blows in the end.
During his 115-ball innings, Bell hit seven boundaries and seldom did he hit any rash stroke.
Bopara provided the late charge and added 56 runs for the unbroken seventh wicket stand with Tim Bresnan (19 no) after England were reduced to 213 for six at one stage.
For Australia, seamers Clint Mckay (2/38) and James Faulkner (2/48) were the most successful bowlers.