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England v Australia
Edgbaston, June 10, 2017
Match 10 - ICC Champions Trophy 2017
|Australia 1st Inn||9/277|
|England 1st Inn||4/240|
|England won the toss and elected to bowl.|
|England win by 40 runs (D/L Method)|
|England||Over: 40.2 RR: 5.14|
|Last Wicket:||E.J.G. Morgan, 87 (run out (Zampa)) - 4/194|
It is a must-win clash for Australia as they face their fiercest rivals, England, in the ICC Champions Trophy group match at Edgbaston on Saturday night. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:30pm (AEST).
It is do or die for the Australians on Saturday night, and after two washed-out draws against Bangladesh and New Zealand, they sit without a win. In their final group match, the Aussies have no choice but to snatch a win from an undefeated English outfit if they are to make the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals.
The recent form of Australia is inconsistent at best. Their bowling performance against New Zealand was described by captain Steve Smith as one of the worst in a long time, and their batting was shaky, losing three wickets inside 15 overs.
However, they bounced back against Bangladesh, routing the Tigers for 182 via a Mitch Starc assault, before racing to 1/83 before rain interrupted play.
Meanwhile, England’s touch has been anything but inconsistent. They have recorded big wins against New Zealand and Bangladesh, with the rain being kind to the home side.
Joe Root has been outstanding so far, as well as strong bowling performances from Jake Ball, Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood. In a worrying sign for the Australians, England hasn’t had to rely on a single player’s form in order to win.
Adding to the Aussies’ woes, the weather that has plagued the tournament thus far doesn’t seem to be letting up, with heavy rain forecast for Birmingham on the Saturday.
Seemingly, the only thing that is fully in Australia’s favour is their history. They hold a winning percentage of 60 per cent over the Old Enemy in ODI cricket, with 80 wins coming from 136 games.
The England captain has been in sublime touch lately, with a match-winning hundred against the Tigers followed up by a well-struck 64 against the BlackCaps. While England has already made the finals, Root would love nothing more than to knock his Ashes rivals out of the tournament.
While it is hard to pick between Steve Smith and Mitch Starc, I’ve gone for the fiery paceman due to his ability to change the course of a match. When Starc is swinging the ball at 150 km/h, you can expect the Australians to be on top. If Starc fires, Australia fires, simple as that.
While this tournament has thrown up some curveballs as of recent, I’m going for England to get the win, batting first and racking up a huge total. Their lineup is just too strong, and while Australia are still trying to work out the XI, England seem to have theirs sorted. If rain doesn’t intervene, I would expect England to get up, albeit in a tight game.
England to win by 25 runs
Can Australia defy the odds and force their way into the semi-finals? Or will England remain undefeated, and send the Australians crashing out of the tournament?
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting at 7:30pm (AEST).