After two back-to-back crushing defeats, England finally opened their account in the World Cup defeating neighbours Scotland by 119 runs in their third Group ‘A’ game in Christchurch on Monday.
Moeen Ali’s century drove England to 303-8 in 50 overs before their fast bowlers set up the victory as the Scots were squeezed out for just 184 runs in 42.2 overs. Opener Kyle Koetzer was the lone survivor of the England bowling attack making 71 off 84 with 11 fours.
In a collective effort from the bowlers, Steven Finn picked up 3-26 from nine overs, while James Anderson, Chris Woakes and Ali also picked up two wickets each. Skipper Preston Mommsen (26), Matthew Cross (23) and Majid Haq (15) were other batsmen to remain for long at the crease.
England were desperate to get back to winning ways after suffering crushing victories from Australia and New Zealand. Third-ranked Associates Scotland had shown a huge grit in their three-wicket loss against New Zealand in the opener but Ali and Bell thwarted their bowling attack beginning the day with a huge 172-run opening wicket stand.
Ali batted flawless in his innings completing a century before upping the ante. Bell was out for 54 off 85 with two boundaries and the innings only helped in regaining his form. Ali slammed five sixes and 12 boundaries in his 107-ball 128.
England’s middle and lower order however failed to cash in on the start provided by Ali who was out in the 35th over guiding the team above 200 runs. Skipper Eoin Morgan posted 46 off 42 with four boundaries and two sixes, his best knock in the World Cup so far.
James Taylor (17) and Jos Buttler (24) took them to 300. Josh Davey picked up four wickets for Scotland but was hit for 68 runs in 10 overs.