Bresnan the 80-run hero as England recover

JOHANNESBURG:Tim Bresnan was the unlikely hero as England recovered from a dismal start to make 257 off 47.4 overs in a Champions Trophy semi-final against Australia at SuperSport Park Friday.

Making his tournament debut only because Stuart Broad failed a late fitness test on a buttock injury, medium-pace bowler Bresnan struck 80 runs off 76 deliveries in an aggressive knock laced with 11 boundaries.

England lost Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah early and were facing a crisis at 101-6 when Bresnan and Luke Wright set about repairing the damage inflicted by the Australian attack.

The pair added 107 runs before Wright departed on 48, another victim of in-form wicketkeeper Tim Paine off the bowling of Peter Siddle, the most successful Australian bowler with three wickets.

Paul Collingwood was the other England batsman to impress, striking five fours and a six in a brisk 34 before being caught behind by Paine off the bowling of ICC Cricketer of the Year Mitchell Johnson.

Australia arrived in South Africa for the two-week tournament after whipping England 6-1 in a post-Ashes one-day series and started as favourites to meet Pakistan or New Zealand in the Monday final.