Chris Woakes stars as England bowl Australia out for 286 in World Cup clash

By Sports Desk November 04, 2023

England were chasing 287 against Ashes rivals Australia in Ahmedabad as they attempted to salvage some pride to their listless World Cup campaign.

Chris Woakes, player of the series after a starring role in this summer’s Test series between the sides, turned in another impressive showing as Australia were bowled out for 286 in the final over.

Woakes topped and tailed the innings, dismissing the dangerous opening pair of Travis Head and David Warner with the new ball and returning to take the last two wickets at the death.

He finished with four for 54, while Adil Rashid’s leg-spin locked down the middle overs in clinical style as he picked up two for 38 from his 10.

But an England side who started the day bottom of the table after five losses from six will be painfully aware that nothing can be taken for granted, having been rolled over for 215 or less by Afghanistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and India in the last three weeks.

Having gone in unchanged for the third game in a row, keeping Harry Brook benched despite the repeated struggles of the top six, they will need a sharp upturn in productivity from their batters.

Australia were lacking the fire-power of Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, the former having flown home for personal reasons and the latter concussed after falling from a golf cart, and although their power-hitting was conspicuously absent they did not fold.

Steve Smith (44) and Marnus Labuschagne (71) channelled their less explosive methods to rebuild after Woakes’ early inroads and Cameron Green chipped in a handy 47 on his return to the XI.

Australia kept wickets in hand for long periods but never quite used their foundation, losing five for 66 in the final 10 overs.

England were back at the site of their first match in a dreadful campaign which was branded “crap” in a blunt assessment by Ben Stokes on the eve of this match.

They made 282 for nine and after batting first against New Zealand in the curtain-raiser at the Narendra Modi Stadium only to watch the Black Caps knock off a nine-wicket win with minimal fuss.

They will now be hoping to produce a successful pursuit of their own.

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