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Australia defy Ben Stokes resilience to knock England out of Cricket World Cup


England have suffered a sixth defeat in seven Cricket World Cup fixtures after losing by 33 runs to Australia in Ahmedabad, confirming their elimination in the process

Ben Stokes’s 64 kept England in within a chance of chasing down a target of 287, but Australia took wickets at important moments to eventually claim a relatively comfortable victory over the defending champions.

Having won the toss, England made the kind of inroads that they would have hoped for during the early stages, Travis Head (11) and David Warner (15) falling to the bowling of Chris Woakes

However, Australia generally controlled the remainder of the innings, Steven Smith (44) helping put on 75 runs for the third wicket and Marnus Labuschagne hitting a patient 71 from 83 balls.

With Australia on 178-5 off 33 overs, the game felt in the balance, but Cameron Green (47), Marcus Stoinis (35) and Adam Zampa (29) all impressed in the lower order as Australia made 286 all out with three balls left.

Woakes (4-54), Mark Wood (2-70) and Adil Rashid (2-38) had ensured that England remained competitive and arguably the marginal favourites, yet they were always playing catch-up after Jonny Bairstow departed for a first-ball duck.

Joe Root followed for just 13 and it took an 84-run third-wicket stand that lasted 18 overs from Dawid Malan and Stokes to keep England in the game.

Once Malan went for (50) and Jos Buttler (1) quickly followed back to the pavilion, responsibility was placed on Stokes’ shoulders, a scenario that he relishes.

The accelerator went down as he hit three sixes to advance to 64 but he soon holed out off the bowling of Zampa to leave England requiring 118 runs with 14.3 overs left.

To England’s credit, they battled on gamely, Moeen Ali (42), Woakes (32), Rashid (20) and David Willey (15) all chipping away at the target.

However, the majority of Australia’s bowling attack contributed, Zampa the pick with 3-21 as Australia bowled England out for 253 with 11 deliveries remaining.

As Australia move onto 10 points and sit in third position with a game in hand on fourth and fifth, England remain bottom ahead of their concluding matches against Netherlands and Pakistan.

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