A Ben Stokes-led England knocked Australia out the Champions Trophy as they beat their arch rivals by 40 runs on the DLS method in Birmingham.

England’s third straight group win also means that Bangladesh have made it through to the semi finals, at the expense of the current World Champions and pre-tournament dark horses New Zealand.

After being set 278 to win, England had crumbled early on and found themselves in all sorts of trouble at 32-3, but a ODI record fourth wicket stand of 159 between Stokes and Eoin Morgan set England well on their way.

When rain brought an early end to the play, England were well ahead of the required DLS par score of 204, and ensured that Australia would go home without winning a single group game.

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An England victory looked unlikely early into their response as Jason Roy’s struggles continued when he was dismissed for lbw for just 4 runs in the opening over.

With the bit between their teeth Australia sensed blood and Alex Hales was then out in the very next over nicking one off Josh Hazelwood leaving England in a precarious position at 6-2, only 8 balls into their innings.

Joe Root was joined by Morgan in the middle as they attempted the counter attack, but Root fell for just 15 to see England slump to 35-3.

That then brought Stokes to the middle, and despite a short rain delay the pair quickly got into their rhythm and took on the Australian attack smashing them all round the park, hitting 7 sixes and 21 fours between them.

Their incredible 159 partnership was brought to an in a disastrous fashion with Morgan being run out, Stokes had chipped one up that fell just short of the fielder but they were able to take advantage to run the England captain out for 87.

Morgan’s innings included 5 sixes and 8 fours as he brought some serious momentum to the innings, especially when they were under the pump when he came into bat.

Stokes was then joined by Jos Buttler whose unbeaten contribution of 29 calmed any English nerves as he played a perfectly timed innings, Stokes got to his century in the 41st over cutting Zampa for four just before the rain took the players off for the second time in the day.

Stokes looked in total control throughout the innings and maintained momentum, his second ODI century of the summer typified this new fearless England.

Having put Australia into bat Morgan’s men put in a strong performance with the ball restricting them to 277-9 from their 50 overs.

Wood and Rashid both put in outstanding displays with the ball finishing up with 4-33 and 4-41 respectively. David Warner was the first wicket to fall when he nicked a full delivery from Wood, Aaron Finch was then joined by captain Smith in the middle and the pair took control.

England fans will have been forgiven for worrying that Australia would kick on and post a target well in excess of 300. But the 96 run partnership was brought to and end when Finch holed out to Stokes for an impressive 68 from 64 balls.

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All rounder Moises Henriques was Rashid’s first victim of the day as he was caught by Liam Plunkett.

Wood then removed Smith for a patient 56 to leave the Aussies on 181-4, leaving Travis Head and Glen Maxwell in the middle. The pair were together for just over 10 overs putting on 58 runs for the fifth wicket as they looked to go big in the remaining overs.

An outstanding catch from Roy removed Maxwell and it kicked off something of a collapse for the Australians as they failed to kick on at the death.

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Rashid caught and bowled Mitchell Wade as he took three quick wickets also accounting for Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummings, leaving the Aussies on the ropes at 253-8.

Adam Zampa was then clean bowled by Wood as England went for the jugular, Head was the only player late down the order who was able to resist scoring an unbeaten 71 as he saw his team to an eventual total of 277-9.

Defeat for Australia wrapped up a frustrating campaign for them, having been forced to share the points in their opening two group games due to weather issues they will be frustrated to have fallen short again their English rivals.

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