AHMEDABAD: Adam Zampa-led bowling attack powered Australia to a 33-run victory over arch-rivals England and moved within touching distance to make it to the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2023.
Set to chase 287, England’s batting unit unfolded in the 49th over and could score 253 runs in response.
Dawid Malan and Ben Stokes raised England’s hopes for their first victory after four consecutive losses when they put together a gritty 74-run stand for the third wicket.
The pair appeared to have settled down but Australia skipper Pat Cummins got the all-important breakthrough for his side by getting rid of Malan, who scored 50. His 64-ball knock included four boundaries and a six.
Australia’s pick of the bowlers Adam Zampa gave the five-time champions another success, a couple of overs later, by dismissing England captain Jos Buttler.
Meanwhile, Stokes stood his ground firm and put together a 63-run partnership with Moeen Ali, who scored 42 in 43 deliveries.
Zampa broke the stand when Stokes mistimed a paddle sweep straight to short fine-leg and departed after top scoring for England with a 90-ball 64.
Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali’s dismissals in quick succession resulted in England slipping to 186/7 in the 40th over.
Tailenders Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid offered notable fightback at the backend but their efforts were not enough as Australia ran away with a hard-fought victory.
Woakes scored 32 in 33 deliveries while Rashid hit a 15-ball 20.
Zampa led the bowling attack for Australia with 3/21 in his 10 overs while Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc bagged two wickets each.
Put into bat first, Australia had a dismal start to their innings as they lost their in-form openers Travis Head (11) and David Warner (15) inside six overs with just 38 runs on the board.
Following the back-to-back dismissals, Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne anchored the proceedings with a gritty 75-run partnership.
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The pair had put Australia in a comfortable position Adil Rashid marked England’s comeback with twin strikes in his consecutive overs, removing set batter Smith and Josh Inglis (3).
Smith remained a notable run-getter for Australia with 44 in 52 deliveries with the help of three boundaries.
Labuschagne was then involved in yet another important partnership for Australia as he added 61 runs for the fifth wicket with Cameron Green before finally perishing in the 33rd over.
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He top-scored for Australia with an 83-ball 71, laced up with seven boundaries.
Green then joined forces with Marcus Stoinis to put together a 45-run stand before being castled by David Willey in the 41st over.
He fell shy of his well-deserved half-century, scoring 47 in 52 deliveries, hitting five boundaries.
Stoinis soon followed Green’s footsteps back to the pavilion as he fell for a 32-ball 35 in the 44th over with 241 runs on the board.
Adam Zampa then played a vital 29-run cameo at the backend to bolster his side’s total while skipper Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc contributed with a 10 each.
Chris Woakes led the bowling attack for England with a four-fer, followed by Mark Wood and Adil Rashid taking two each.
Liam Livingstone and David Milley picked up a wicket apiece.