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England v Australia, Champions Trophy, Edgbaston

June 8, 2013

Story of the tortoise and the slow old tortoise

Nikita Bastian

As the old foes, England and Australia faced off at Edgbaston, there were a few selection issues to begin with. England benched Steven Finn. Australia went in spinner-less.

England, after choosing to bat on a flat track, progressed at a steady 3.5 runs an over. Three-hundred pitch, really?

It's not as if England didn't even try …

Mitchell Starc had a bad day, overpitching and straying either side of the stumps quite a bit.

Mitchell Johnson had a bad hair day.

Meanwhile, England's top order continued to build.

Shane Watson, one of only two players in this Australian team with over 50 ODI caps to his name, has not broken down. Yet.

There was some fishy business with the bails, as they mysteriously fell off Ravi Bopara's stumps.

Just as England looked like they were ready to push on, wickets fell in a heap. That could only be one person's fault, right?

Safe to say, England's keep-wickets-in-hand strategy went awry as they went from 168 for 1 to 213 for 6 in the space of 10 overs.

For Clint Mckay, it was a good day. He picked up 2 for 38, the wickets being Eoin Morgan and Joe Root, in his 10 overs.

England finished on 269 for 6, courtesy a bit of late hitting from Bopara.

Australia were only 25 minutes too late. A fine's on the way for stand-in captain George Bailey then.

If you thought the England innings went hardly anywhere, Australia were hardly better. In fact, they weren't.

Yes, the English had kangaroos for lunch.

Australia were short on experience. Australia were short on skills. At no point in the innings did they look in control. Damien Martyn had a perfectly acceptable query given the circumstances ...

Along the way, James Anderson went past Darren Gough's tally of 234 ODI scalps for England, to top their all-time wickets chart.

Overall, the England bowlers manged to extract swing that seemed non-existent when Australia had their turn with ball. Conventional, reverse ... there was a little bit of everything.

Eventually Australia, despite a quick fifty from James Faulkner to keep their net run rate from plummeting too far, ended 48 short. Things are looking down for the team.

What next for Australia?

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Twinkie on (June 9, 2013, 2:41 GMT)

Trott needs to learn how to gallop! Aussies, not too auspicious a start.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (June 8, 2013, 23:19 GMT)

Brilliant from England and delivered another massive crushing of their arch rivals. The difference in skill, fitness and leadership between the teams in the lead up to the Ashes is simply massive.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

The title is fabulous! Slow and steady wins the race over the slow and slower

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