England stop Australia at 285/7 after Finch hundred
London: Aaron Finch rose to the occasion with his second century of the tournament before England rallied to stop arch-rivals Australia at 285 for seven in their blockbuster World Cup showdown here Tuesday.
Comfortably placed at 185 for three in the 36th over, Australia were headed for a 300-plus total, but lost the plot due to England's fine comeback and lack of discretion on part of most of the batsmen that followed Finch and David Warner.
Sent into bat after Eoin Morgan called it right at the toss, Australia were given another fine start by their in-from openers, who took them to 123 in the 23rd over, when the tournament leading scorer David Warner fell for a well-made 53 off 62 balls.
Dropped on 15, Finch (100) went on to make his 15th ODI century, off 115 balls, but got out in the very next ball to leave the responsibility of finishing the innings in style on Steve Smith's shoulders.
Smith (38) batted positively until he was sent back by Chris Woakes, while Alex Carey smashed 38 off 27 balls, but the defending champions seemed to have lost the plot with the wickets of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.
Maxwell hit Jofra Archer for a four before sending his thunderbolt over long on and into the crowd for a six. But Maxwell did not last long, and Australia were 228 for five, when Stoinis was run out in the 42nd over due to the combined efforts of Jonny Bairstow, Adi Rashid and Jos Buttler.
Earlier, Warner and Finch shared another 100-plus stand for the first-wicket. It was the pair's fifth successive partnership of 50 or more at the tournament, a World Cup record.
Finch found the fence 11 times during his 116-ball knock and cleared it twice, with Moeen Ali being at the receiving end on both occasions.
Mixing caution with aggression, Finch and Warner pulled, cut and drove with confidence to give Australia upper hand.
However, England tightened things up and also bagged a few wickets at regular intervals to peg Australia back in the latter half of their innings.