England opened their Champions Trophy campaign with a comprehensive victory over Australia, who were beaten by 48 runs at a packed Edgbaston.
Ian Bell’s 91, his highest one-day international score at his home ground, underpinned a competitive 269 for six after Alastair Cook won the toss.
James Anderson then became England’s leading ODI wicket-taker, moving three clear of Darren Gough to 237 scalps as he returned 3-29 from 10 overs.
The win was important to England’s hopes of progressing from Group A - a repeat against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Thursday should see them reach the semi-finals with a game to spare - and also struck a blow ahead of this summer’s Investec Ashes.
This morning, a lower back problem dealt England a blow just as it had Australia 24 hours earlier. Home spinner Graeme Swann was ruled out of today’s match for the same reason that Australia captain Michael Clarke was yesterday.
James Tredwell replaced Swann while England left out Steven Finn on grounds of form. Given Clarke’s absence, Australia lined up as expected with George Bailey leading them.
Aside from a mix-up that should have seen Bell run out, he and Cook laid a firm foundation with a positive fifty partnership until the latter drove away from his body at Shane Watson and feathered a catch behind on 30.
Jonathan Trott settled in alongside Bell, who reached 50 from 70 balls and dominated their steady stand of 111. It ended when Trott slashed at a Mitchell Starc delivery well outside off stump and was caught behind for 43.
Bell was bowled soon after by James Faulkner during the batting powerplay, in which Clint McKay had Joe Root held at midwicket and England managed just 23 runs.
McKay bowled Eoin Morgan behind his legs and Jos Buttler played on to Faulkner as England lost two wickets in three balls. However, Ravi Bopara’s unbeaten 46 from 37 balls, including the only six of the innings, offered a late shot in the arm.
England were rewarded for a disciplined start with the ball when Stuart Broad had David Warner caught behind in the mandatory powerplay.
With reverse-swing now prevalent, Tim Bresnan dismissed Watson and Adam Voges either side of Root trapping Phil Hughes, who had lived dangerously, in front.
During Australia's batting powerplay, which yielded a mere 16 runs, Anderson struck twice in an over, first having Mitchell Marsh held at point to move clear of Gough and then snaring Matthew Wade caught behind.
All this time Bailey was gamely trying to keep his side in the contest until he holed out off Tredwell for 55. That effectively ended the game as a contest although, after Anderson bowled Starc, Faulkner helped Australia to bat out their overs with 54 not out as they ended nine down.
6:38pm - END OF MATCH - Aus 221/9: Faulkner 54; McKay 7 - ENGLAND WIN BY 48 RUNS!! The last over starts eventfully, beginning with Bresnan bowling a full-toss four and continuing with Faulkner cover-driving four to go to a fifty. However, it ends meekly with England already assured of a comprehensive victory.
6:34pm - In the penultimate over Faulkner steers Broad to leg for four shortly after Ausralia pass 200.
6:26pm - Anderson completes his allocation with figures of 3-30. He is warmly applauded by the crowd when his feat as leading wicket-taker is announced.
6:14pm - WICKET! Starc b Anderson 5; Aus 190/9 - Faulkner clips Anderson off his toes for four to fine-leg, but it’s all in vain now for Australia as Mitchell Starc is comprehensively castled.
6:03pm - WICKET! Johnson c Morgan b Bopara 8; Aus 175/8 - It’s nearly over as Johnson meekly loops a full-toss to point. Later in the over Bopara reviews in search of having Faulkner caught and bowled via the batsman’s boot but without success.
5:58pm - James Faulkner shows some fight by slog-sweeping Tredwell for the first six of the innings.
5:50pm - Mitchell Johnson, whose appearance in the middle delights the crowd, surprisingly avoids being run out without facing despite great work from Buttler who took the throw in front of the stumps. Third umpire Billy Bowden took a long time to decide on that.
5:44pm - WICKET! Bailey c Root b Tredwell 55; Aus 151/7 - Bailey knows he has to up the ante and lifts Tredwell down the ground only to be caught at long-on.
5:39pm - Substitute fielder Jonny Bairstow shies at the stumps and concedes four overthrows. Later in the over England review a stumping appeal against James Faulkner to no avail.
5:31pm - FIFTY! Bailey (62b 2x4 0x6) - Australia’s stand-in captain is still fighting and he brings up a half-century.
5:26pm - WICKET! Wade c Buttler b Anderson 1; Aus 136/6 - Matthew Wade feathers an edge behind and, after the umpires call for replays to see if the ball carried to Buttler, Anderson has his second wicket in the over.
5:21pm - WICKET! Marsh c Morgan b Anderson 5; Aus 134/5 - Marsh slices to point as Anderson, with the first ball of his third spell, becomes England’s leading ODI wicket-taker with 235.
5:16pm - Mitchell Marsh gets off the mark by emphatically pulling Bresnan for four. Australia need a few more of those with the asking rate around nine an over.
5:06pm - WICKET! Voges b Bresnan 15; Aus 127/4 - Voges fails to connect with an attempted big shot and the ball crashes into the top of middle and off stumps. Australia are in trouble now.
5pm - Voges replicates Bailey’s recent reverse-swept four off Tredwell, who later in the over fields excellently from a return drive. The batting powerplay is then taken.
4:55pm - There is a delay to replace a stump broken, not by a wicket but Voges looping the ball back past the bowler, Anderson, and into the non-striker’s wickets.
4:50pm - Anderson returns to the attack and beats Adam Voges’ outside edge with perhaps a hint of reverse-swing. Bailey then reverse-sweeps Tredwell to the rope, beating Bopara’s dive. Australia are 115 for three from 30 overs.
4:36pm - WICKET! Hughes lbw Root 30; Aus 94/3 - Root, bowling from round the wicket, pins the left-hander in front of leg stump. Hughes, who had lives on 10 and 16, added 47 with Bailey.
4:35pm - Australia are 93 for two after half their overs. England were 111 for one at the same stage.
4:27pm - Ravi Bopara and Joe Root are now bowling and the former proves expensive in his second over as Bailey pulls for four, the first boundary in 11 overs, and Hughes gets four more over mid-on.
4:11pm - MISSED CHANCE! Tredwell draws Hughes forward and beats him with a beauty but Buttler cannot take the ball, which could have led to a stumping.
4:05pm - With Australia having brought up their fifty, Bailey miscues a pull off Bresnan but the ball lands safely.
3:55pm - WICKET! Watson c Cook b Bresnan 24; Aus 47/2 - Watson falls to a Bresnan inswinger. It looked as if he was out lbw but he actually faintly edged onto pad and through to Cook at gully. Bresnan has a strong leg-before appeal against new man George Bailey turned down during the innings’ second wicket-maiden.
3:48pm - MISSED CHANCE! Hughes plays Bresnan through gully where Cook, standing relatively close, cannot hold on. The next over is a Tredwell maiden to Hughes.
3:43pm - Tim Bresnan replaces Anderson and is firmly cover-driven for four by Hughes. James Tredwell, playing in place of the injured Graeme Swann, taking over from Broad makes it a double bowling change.
3:37pm - Eoin Morgan’s fine stop at backward point nearly leads to Hughes being run out but the batsman sensibly returns to his crease as Ian Bell’s throw comes in during a second maiden from Broad. Australia are 35 for one at the end of the compulsory powerplay.
3:27pm - CHANCE! The umpires check to see if Broad has caught and bowled Watson, who clearly drove into the ground before the bowler gathered. The right-hander then edges to the left of Alastair Cook at a solitary slip. Cook gets a hand on it but cannot prevent four. Phil Hughes, who could have been run out, completes the over with a cover-driven four.
3:17pm - WICKET! Warner c Buttler b Broad 9; Aus 17/1 - Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler holds an impressive catch, diving to his left, as the attacking opening batsman departs cheaply in the first maiden of the match.
3:06pm - Following another economical Anderson over, Watson flicks Broad for four with enough power to beat the long-leg fielder.
2:56pm - James Anderson, level with Darren Gough as England’s leading one-day international wicket-taker on 234 scalps, delivers a tight first over during which David Warner picks up a two. Stuart Broad is similarly economical in the next.
2:22pm - END OF INNINGS - Eng 269/6; Bopara 46, Bresnan 19 - Bailey shells a Bopara skier during the final over, bowled by Johnson, in which a wide brings up a fifty partnership. Bopara then smacks four down the ground as England end the innings on a high.
2:14pm - England’s 250 arrives in the 49th over immediately before Bopara swats Starc over midwicket for the first six of the innings.
2:07pm - Tim Bresnan gives the crowd reason to cheer with back-to-back fours off Starc. The first was via a pull and the second from a sliced drive to third man.
2:01pm - Bopara delicately flicks Faulkner to the fine-leg boundary in the 46th over, at the end of which England are 227 for six.
1:53pm - WICKET! Buttler b Faulkner 1; Eng 213/6 - Buttler, England’s batting hero on Wednesday, plays on as the hosts falter in the closing overs.
1:50pm - WICKET! Morgan b McKay 8; Eng 212/5 - Bopara lifts McKay over mid-off for four, the first boundary in six overs, before Morgan walks across his stumps and is bowled behind his legs.
1:44pm - Eoin Morgan flicks a Faulkner full-toss to leg for two, heralding England’s 200. From the last ball of the over Australia review an almost non-existant lbw appeal against Bopara. Replays show the ball pitching outside leg.
1:39pm - Farcical scenes in the middle. A bail is blown off as Faulkner bowls to Ravi Bopara. The umpires review to confirm Bopara did not break the stumps but third umpire Billy Bowden accidentally presses the ‘out’ button, setting off fireworks for the fall of a wicket. The decision is quickly reversed to a cheer from the crowd, who will be less pleased about England taking 23 for two, with just one boundary, from the powerplay.
1:30pm - WICKET! Root c Bailey b McKay 12; Eng 189/4 - Root chips tamely to midwicket as England lose two quick wickets during the batting powerplay.
1:25pm - WICKET! Bell b Faulkner 91; Eng 189/3 - Bell plays round a straight ball from the left-armer and ends up on his knees. He departs to warm applause from his home crowd. Bell’s last 16 scoring shots were singles.
1:13pm - England are obliged to take the batting powerplay after 35 overs with Joe Root alongside Bell, who has 86. Root cheekily flicks Starc’s length ball over his head for four, the first boundary in five overs.
1:05pm - WICKET! Trott c Wade b Starc 43; Eng 168/2 - The right-hander, seeking to get a move on, slashes at a ball well outside off stump and feathers behind. Trott’s innings occupied 56 deliveries, during which he shared a stand of 111 with Bell that has given England a firm base.
12:55pm - England’s 150 comes at the start of the 32nd over as Bell goes to 80 for his highest one-day international score at Edgbaston, which is bathed sun sunshine now. At the end of the over Bell and Trott’s hundred partnership arrives.
12:47pm - Trott and Australia gloveman Matthew Wade have words after they accidentally collide when Wade attempts to gather a throw following a dot-ball from Mitchell Marsh, who is into the attack for the first time. Bell is almost caught and bowled later in the over but it cannot be considered a chance.
12:42pm - Having deliberately guided Watson for four to third man in the previous over, Bell is lucky to get another boundary off Johnson in the next when he top-edges a pull over the wicketkeeper. Later in the over Bell and Trott show good understanding with sharp running as England reach 142 for one from 30.
12:32pm - Bell ends five overs without a boundary by cutting Johnson powerfully for four. Johnson stops short of bowling the next delivery and warns Trott for leaving his ground early.
12:30pm - Given the way England accelerated in the closing overs versus New Zealand on Wednesday, when they added 76 in the last four as Jos Buttler raced to 47 not out from 16 balls, they will not be concerned about the current steady scoring rate.
12:20pm - A half-century alliance between Bell and Trott soon arrives during a calm period of play.
12:15pm - FIFTY! Bell (70b 4x4 0x6) - Bell drives Voges to long-off to reach a personal milestone and take England, who are well-placed for a competitive score, to three figures.
12:11pm - Adam Voges, with his left-arm spin, starts tidily. Bell then pulls Faulkner for his first four since the 10th over.
12:06pm - James Faulkner, who has taken over from Watson, and Starc keep it tight and after 20 overs England are 87 for one.
11:50am - Bell drives Watson, who is bowling tightly, in the air just short of mid-on. Now the balls have softened slightly, scoring is tougher than initially suggesting this is not such a batting paradise. In the next over Trott guides Starc for four through point, England’s first boundary in seven overs.
11:37am - The wicket naturally slows the scoring rate as Trott plays himself in and Bell shows more caution. Starc returns to the attack, in place of McKay.
11:25am - WICKET! Cook c Wade b Watson 30; Eng 57/1 - The left-hander loosely drives away from his body and gets the faintest of edges behind. The crowd’s subdued response to the breakthrough is contrasted by warm applause for Jonathan Trott as he makes his way to the middle. He and Bell are Warwickshire players, of course.
11:17am - It’s Bell’s turn to change his bat now. At the end of the compulsory powerplay England are well-placed at 54 for none.
11:12am - Cook changes his bat midway through a McKay over, after which Shane Watson replaces Johnson. Bell smites Watson’s first ball down the ground for four to raise England’s fifty.
11:03am - Cook cover-drives McKay for four. Early indications suggest the pitch looks like a belter for batsmen. In the next over Cook replicates the shot off Johnson for the same result. Not for the first time, Johnson tests Bell with a short ball.
10:56am - Cook sweetly clips Johnson in front of square for two. Later in the over Bell is solid in defence. An injudicious opening of the windows in the press box betrays that it is decidedly chilly outside with the sun now behind the clouds.
10:50am - Following a second decent over from Johnson, Clint McKay takes over from the slightly wayward Starc. Bell profits through extra-cover to the tune of six runs in two deliveries. He edges just short of second slip from the last ball of the over.
10:42am - MISSED CHANCE! Brief chaos in the middle as Ian Bell sets off for a single from the non-striker’s end only to be sent back by Cook having come almost all the way. A shy deflects off the striker’s stumps and England get two overthrows. It was a front-foot no-ball as well and Cook launches the free-hit aerially down the ground for one. Later in the over Bell beautifully cover-drives for four to get off the mark.
10:39am - Mitchell Johnson, whose name when announced was greeted with an ironic cheer from the mainly English crowd, delivers a tidy first over during which he once beats Cook’s outside edge.
10:31am - Following a false start due to movement behind the bowler, Alastair Cook clips the first ball from Mitchell Starc off his legs for four as the first over costs five.
10:25am - The two national anthems ring out as the sun again shines through. A near-capacity crowd is fast filling up. Play will begin soon.
10:03am - ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND BAT FIRST - Bailey calls incorrectly and Alastair Cook opts to set a target.
Here are the teams. England are missing Graeme Swann, who has a sore back, and Steven Finn has been overlooked on form. Australia line up as expected given captain Clarke’s absence.
England: Alastair Cook (capt), Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler (wk), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, James Tredwell, James Anderson.
Australia: David Warner, Shane Watson, Phil Hughes, George Bailey (capt), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade (wk), James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Clint McKay.
9:50am - England, who like Australia are warming up on the outfield, should have their full squad available after seamers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn recovered from injuries to play in Wednesday’s NatWest Series defeat of New Zealand at Trent Bridge. News of the toss from Edgbaston will follow shortly…
9:40am - Yesterday’s big news was Australia captain Michael Clarke being ruled out of today’s match with a lower back injury. The visitors will therefore be led by George Bailey, their Twenty20 skipper who has been playing for Hampshire this season.
9:30am - Good morning and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live text commentary of England versus Australia from Edgbaston in the Champions Trophy as the tournament hosts and the holders meet in the opening Group A game.
The start is in an hour at 10:30am and the bright if cloudy weather conditions suggest there will be no problem beginning then. Stay here for updates throughout the day.