Bresnan helps England to 257 against Australia

Tim Bresnan fires a scintillating half-century to resuscitate England's innings in the Champions Trophy semi-final against Australia.

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Tim Bresnan fired a scintillating 80 to resuscitate England's innings in the Champions Trophy semi-final against Australia. The Yorkshire all-rounder let his bat do the talking at Centurion with his highest score in one-day cricket and helped England to 257, a score they could not have dreamed of after a disastrous start to their innings. The 24-year-old, playing due to the absence of injury victim Stuart Broad, arrived at the crease with England 101 for six in the 21st over.

But Bresnan registered his maiden international half-century from just 53 balls, celebrating the England 200 at the same time. This was only the third time he had done so in any limited-overs contest and he rattled along at better than a run-a-ball before Brett Lee demolished his stumps in the 47th over. A magnificent stand of 107 runs in 19 overs with Luke Wright threatened an even bigger total until his seventh-wicket partner succumbed from the final delivery of the 40th over.

Wright upped the tempo of the 107-run alliance with two huge sixes off spinner Nathan Hauritz but perished for 48 when he edged behind off the returning Peter Siddle. England's batting troubles against Australia had resurfaced in the first half of the innings. Andrew Strauss' team, whose under-par totals contributed to a 6-1 series mauling by the Australians last month, stuttered to after winning the toss.

Despite registering 323 for eight, England's sixth-highest 50-over score, against South Africa on the same ground last week, their travails against Australia returned. Paul Collingwood's 55-run stand with Joe Denly proved a fleeting reprieve from the tumble of wickets. Collingwood, equalling Alec Stewart's record of 170 England one-day caps, dominated the partnership with Denly following the loss of two early wickets.

However, he was just four short of the 206 runs compiled by Graeme Smith, the leading run scorer in this tournament, when he gloved an attempted pull off Mitchell Johnson. * PA Sport