England beat Australia in pre-Ashes clash
Ian Bell and James Anderson starred as England drew first blood in a marathon sequence of matches against Australia with a 48-run victory over the defending champions in their Champions Trophy opener at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Ian Bell made an impressive 91 on his Warwickshire home ground, to the delight of a capacity crowd of 25,000, as England posted 269 for six after captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat.
Bell also shared a second-wicket stand of 111 with county colleague Jonathan Trott (43) for the second wicket to set up the platform for the English innings.
Clint McKay impressed with the ball for Australia, as they pegged back England during the middle-overs, finishing with 2/38 in his 10 overs.
Ravi Bopara justified his place in the England squad with an unbeaten 46. Bopara has come under scrutiny, with many pundits questioning his role in the team.
Tim Bresnan got England off to an excellent start in their defense of 270, getting rid of Shane Watson. Bresnan finished with 2/45 as Australia ended at 221/9 - 48 runs short.
Stand-in Australian skipper George Bailey defied his critics yet again with a composed half-century, his 5th in One-day Internationals, but was lacking in support at the other end.
James Faulkner justified his billing as an all-rounder - scoring a 42-ball 54 - that added gloss to what was a meek Australian batting effort.
James Anderson, with 237 wickets at an average of 29.58 in 170 matches, is now the leading England wicket-taker in ODIs, eclipsing Darren Gough's tally of 235 at 26.42 in 159 matches.
England have drawn first-blood in the first of at least 26 matches, including the upcoming Ashes series, across all formats against arch-rivals Australia between now and February 2.