Wood, Stokes close the door on Australia
England 240 for 4 (Stokes 102*, Morgan 87) beat Australia 277 for 9 (Head 71, Finch 68, Smith 56, Wood 4-33, Rashid 4-41) by 40 runs (DLS method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
As per a chorus in the Eric Hollies Stand cribbed from Three Lions and directed at Aaron Finch, Australia are going home. That they are doing so has less to do with damp English weather than the verve of the home side, personified by the pace of Mark Wood, the guile of Adil Rashid, the leadership of Eoin Morgan and the raw power of Ben Stokes.
This was a meeting between a confident, aggressive England favoured to lift the Champions Trophy and an out-of-season Australia playing their first completed match of the trip. With the bat and then the ball, Steven Smith's side hinted at their full capability, but were unable to follow through as Morgan's men proved much the more resilient team when challenged. Having themselves knocked out New Zealand, a delighted Bangladesh are into the semi-finals.
England did not lose their way when Finch and Smith set a commendable platform for Australia, and held their nerve once again when Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc nipped the new ball about with venom to pick up three early wickets. By contrast Australia's innings featured a pair of collapses, then an inability to wrestle momentum back once Morgan and Stokes found their range after a brief rain delay.
Morgan's intent was made plain with a pair of boundaries from Starc in the first over on resumption, and Stokes was soon following suit with a succession of meaty blows that suggested a wonderfully uncluttered mind. For most of their stand, Smith seemed to be hoping either batsman would simply make a mistake as he had; England were in no mood to be so charitable - neither in terms of this tournament, nor the fact an Ashes series sits six months away. They were consequently well ahead of the runs required by the time the showers returned to end proceedings early.
The frailties of Smith's side seemed as much to do with a lack of sharpness as a deficit in quality, though Moises Henriques' selection at No. 4 seemed odd when considering a limited-overs batsman as formidable as Morgan occupies the equivalent berth for England. Finch and Smith appeared capable of big innings but both lost their wickets to miscues, before the middle and lower order could make nothing of Rashid's legbreaks and googlies.
Travis Head played busily and well, but was left stranded as Rashid and Wood orchestrated the loss of 5 for 15 from the relatively lofty Australian position of 239 for 4 in the 43rd over. Of the batsmen, only David Warner could say he was legitimately beaten by fine delivery, while Glenn Maxwell fell victim to an excellent catch by Jason Roy, juggling the ball while stepping over the midwicket boundary to retain his balance.
Warner and Finch had begun in strong fashion, hammering numerous short balls to the boundary on a pitch that was dry and brimful of runs. Wood's well-pitched delivery running across Warner found an outside edge to break the stand at 40, before Finch and Smith purred along at a run a ball without seeming in trouble.
A century beckoned for Finch, in his most fluent ODI contribution for quite some time, but a mistimed drive at Stokes was skied to a grateful Morgan. Smith, too, looked good for three figures, but after Henriques flattered to deceive in a brief stay that ended when he tugged Rashid to mid-on, the captain was too early into a drive when Wood returned to the bowling crease and chipped a tame catch to mid-off.
Head and Maxwell combined for another useful stand, and appeared ready to launch when Maxwell swatted Wood just within the reach of Roy's outstretched hands and then nimble feet to claim a fair catch. Rashid then found Matthew Wade and the bowlers susceptible to his guile, the flurry of wickets bringing a raucous crowd to their feet.
The resultant collapse left 300 out of reach, but the No. 11 Hazlewood was at least able to keep Head company in the closing overs to add 23 precious runs. Head's innings showed tremendous composure, and also suggested he may be due for further promotion up the batting order.
Very little swing has been discernible during the competition, but Starc found the merest hint of curve to pin an out of sorts Roy lbw in the first over of England's reply. Hazlewood's initial rhythm was excellent, and neither Alex Hales nor Joe Root could be overly blamed for edging a pair of swift, bouncing and seaming deliveries.
If the innings had a pivotal moment, it probably arrived a couple of overs before Root's exit, when Matthew Wade failed to hang onto a chance gloved down the leg side by Morgan. That reprieve led to Morgan and Stokes playing with unbridled freedom after the rain delay, pinging boundaries and sixes in the fashion England supporters have become familiar with since Trevor Bayliss was charged with bringing the team's ODI approach into the 21st century.
England romped well ahead of the par score in the event of any further showers, while an increasingly desperate Smith tried Head, Henriques and Maxwell in addition to his pace bowlers and Adam Zampa. The stand was worth 159 in 26.1 overs and the target well within sight by the time a running mix-up and Zampa direct hit did for Morgan on 87.
Jos Buttler offered one final moment of hope for Australia when he cut Starc in the air towards backward point, but Maxwell lost the ball in the crowd - at 24,277, an ODI record for Edgbaston - and Stokes went on to an exceptional hundred that ensured England were 40 runs ahead of the par score when the rain returned.
Australia are left with plenty of questions, from whether the pyrotechnics of Chris Lynn and Marcus Stoinis should have been tried to the matter of how much the current pay dispute clouded the players' minds. Whatever the answers, one thing is certain: Smith's team will have to lift several notches for the Ashes, as England evidently have.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig