Stokes hits fifty to keep England in hunt of 287 against Australia
November 4, 2023 09:06 PM
Ben Stokes struck a defiant half-century to boost England's pursuit of a victory target of 287 against Australia in a key World Cup clash on Saturday.
The defending champions slipped to 106-4 after Dawid Malan departed on 50 but Stokes kept up the charge at the world's biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.
Mitchell Starc removed the England openers before fellow quick Pat Cummins took down the left-handed Malan and Adam Zampa sent back skipper Jos Buttler for one.
England are all but out of the race for the semi-final with five losses in six matches and another defeat will officially end their campaign.
Stokes, who raised his fifty with a six and reached 61, and Moeen Ali, on 13, took England to 146-4 in 32 overs.
A win will be a boost to England's hopes of qualifying for the 2025 Champions Trophy with the top seven teams from this World Cup gaining entry into the tournament where hosts Pakistan will have automatic qualification.
Starc, a left-arm quick, struck on the first ball of the England chase to have Jonny Bairstow out for a duck and then Joe Root caught behind for 13.
Root, who survived a dropped catch on seven, was initially ruled not out by the on-field umpire before Australia successfully reviewed the decision.
Earlier Australia made 286 all out with Marnus Labuschagne top-scoring with 71 after England elected to bowl first.
Fast bowler Chris Woakes stood out with figures of 4-54 to end the opposition innings in 49.3 overs.