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Match news :
Australian bowlers made an impressive comeback to restrict England to 269 for six despite Ian Bell's responsible knock of 91 in an opening group A league encounter of the Champions Trophy here today.
Bell, who recently scored 82 against New Zealand in the final match of the ODI series, kept the momentum going as he planned his innings perfectly but his dismissal led to a middle-order collapse which stopped England well short of the 300-run mark which looked inevitable at one stage.
Bell's partnership of 111 with Jonathan Trott, who made 43, was the backbone of the English innings as Ravi Bopara (46 no, 3x4, 1x6) struck a few meaty blows in the end. He added 56 runs for the unbroken seventh wicket stand with Tim Bresnan (19 no) after England were reduced to 213 for six.
Seamers Clint Mckay (2/38) and James Faulkner (2/48) were the most successful bowlers.
During his 115-ball innings, Bell hit seven boundaries and seldom did he hit any rash stroke.
Opting to bat, Bell along with skipper Alastair Cook (30) added 57 runs for the opening stand before Shane Watson got the breakthrough. He induced an edge off Cook's bat which was taken by Matthew Wade behind the stumps.
Bell found an able ally in Trott as the duo added 111 runs in only 22 overs. They kept a steady run-rate during the phase of play without taking much risk.
Trott, who was playing the role of second fiddle to perfection finally made a mistake when he chased a widish delivery from Mitchell Starc to be caught by Wade.
Bell, on the other hand, kept his cool as he slowly approached the three-figure mark. The experienced right-hander misjudged the line of a fuller delivery bowled by Faulkner to get bowled.
The collapse started at this very juncture as young Joe Root (12) was out in the very next over without a single run being added to the score. Root flicked a slower one from Mckay to rival skipper Bailey fielding at mid-wicket. From 189 for two, it suddenly became 189 for four.
Eoin Morgan (8) shuffled across and lost the leg-stump in the process off Mckay while Jos Butler (1) was played-on to give Faulkner his second scalp.
The second Powerplay proved to be a productive one for Australia as England scored only 23 runs and lost two wickets in the process.