England v Australia World Cup Semi

Neil Whitaker reports

ENGLAND thrashed Australia by eight wickets with over 17 overs left in the second semi final at Edgbaston to reach their first World Cup final since 1992.

Jason Roy was on his way to making a century until he was controversially given out, 15 short. He was given out caught behind down the legside off Pat Cummins. Roy said umpire Kumar Dharmasena was going to call a wide and then gave Roy out.  Roy wanted to review it but Jonny Bairstow had used England’s review when he was dismissed. The replay showed that Roy had missed it completely. But by that time England’s place had already been assured.

England skipper Eoin Morgan said: “I feel pretty good after that performance.  Everybody on the field and in the changing room loved every ball and we had a day out.  Our bowlers were awesome and we are learning to enjoy days like these. When we played Australia at Lord’s we under performed.

I think New Zealand have been the hardest team to play in the group. And they’ll be a hard team to beat on Sunday.”

He ended by saying: “Four years ago we struggled against everybody.  If you had said to me four years ago that we would be in the next final I wouldn’t have believed you.”

In their chase they afforded to play out out two maidens.  Jason Behrendorf’s second over was the first maiden of the match after that it was carnage.  Roy drove Mitchell Starc delightfully to the extra cover boundary and Roy finished the over with another drive this time to the cover boundary.  He later effortlessly clipped Starc off his legs for a six behind square.

In the first powerplay England made 50 without loss compared to Australia’s 27.  Immediately after the powerplay Aussie skipper Aaron Finch brought Nathan Lyon into the attack.  He gave his first ball plenty of air and Roy gently pushed him over the long on boundary for another six.

Starc gave Jonny Bairstow some width and he hammered Starc to the point boundary.  Later Bairstow slipped turning for a second and when he completed the second run he pulled up. After receiving treatment he carried on. He thumped Starc’s first ball after he was recalled to the attack over  David Warner at mid off to the boundary.

Roy brought up his fifty which came from 50 balls and included two sixes and seven fours when he drove Starc to the cover boundary it was his seventh fifty in the tournament and he missed matches because of an hamstring injury.

Finch brought Steve Smith into the attack and Roy hit him for three straight sixes, the final one was a huge one into the top tier of the pavillion.  The first ball of the over should have been a straight four from Bairstow who stopped running then suddenly from nowhere Glenn Maxwell appeared to stop the boundary.

The experiment of Smith ended after that over and Starc was brought back into the attack at the pavillion end and he got rid of Bairstow leg before.  Bairstow reviewed straight away but the replay showed the umpire was right to give Starc his 27 wicket in the tournament beating Glenn McGrath’s 26 in a single tournament.

Morgan and Joe Root saw England home, the only danger they had was when they needed 45 Morgan drove Behrendorf in the air just wide off Finch at mid off. With the rain falling and the crowd singing or shouting ‘Cricket’s coming home’ Morgan pulled Berhendorf to the long on boundary.

After losing the toss England got off to a dream start by having Australia 14 for three inside seven overs.  That score was Australia’s lowest score for three wickets in ODI cricket against England.

Australia’s former skipper Smith too scored with 85, his highest World Cup score against England.  He came in with the fall of skipper Finch’s wicket in the second over and stayed until the 48th over when he was the eighth man out.  He featured in all three of Australia’s big partnerships in their 223. A straight drive from Smith off Liam Plunkett’s first ball brought up the Aussies fifty in the 16th over.  

First with stumper Alex  Carey, who was promoted up the order to number five, they added 103 in 21 overs for the fourth wicket.  On four Carey had his helmet knocked off by a bouncer from Jofra Archer, Carey had the presence of mind to catch his helmet before it dropped on his stumps. At first he had a small plaster covering his chin, later he had big plaster from the bottom of his neck round his face reminiscent of Rick McCosker in the Centenary Test in 1977.  Aussie skipper Finch said: “He’s tough. The ball pushed through his grill and has had seven or eight stitches. His partnership with Smith got us to a decent score.”

Carey cover drive to the boundary off Plunkett for the shot of the Australian innings. He swept Adil Rashid to the mid wicket boundary to take him into the forties. Carey danced down the wicket to Rashid and clipped off his legs but found substitute James Vince on the mid wicket boundary.  Carey fell four runs short off his fifty with Smith they added 103 off 133 balls. Carey had been playing Rashid well, picking the googly and rotating the strike with Smith.

With Maxwell, he added 39 in seven overs, but their partnership should have been over before it began. On one Maxwell edged Rashid just wide off Root at slip for a single. He then hoisted him over long for the first six of the match.  Maxwell pulled a poor long hop Rashid to the mid wicket boundary to bring up the Aussie 150.

Archer bowled a big bouncer at Maxwell which was given as a wide, the next ball was a knuckle ball which popped up at Maxwell who was through his shot and the ball gently found Morgan in the covers. Finch added: “Archer is getting better and better. If there’s anything in the wicket their bowlers will get something out of it.”

Just when they needed it Australia found another partnership otherwise they wouldn’t have reached 200. Smith and Starc put on 60 in 10 overs just what the doctor ordered. But both were back in the hutch within two balls of each other.  The partnership was broken when Smith tried to run a leg bye off Chris Woakes but Jos Buttler threw the stumps down. Next ball Starc top edged a slash off Woakes to give Buttler an easy catch. Behrendorf was the last man out bowled by an inswinging yorker from Wood.

Finch added: “If it hadn’t been for our middle order we would have been in trouble.  In most of the matches opening the batting has been the easiest but today the match the damage was done in the first 10 overs.

We were totally outplayed.  We came here expecting to win and feeling great. But we’ve made an huge amount of progress in the past 12 months but today we’ve put in one of our worst performances.

I think the final will be one hell of a game.  New Zealand never know when they are out of a game.”

Australia lost their first wicket in the second over when Finch was adjudged leg before for a golden duck.  Finch reviewed it and it was umpires call.

In the next over Warner was on his way back to the hutch when Woakes took the shoulder of his bat and Bairstow at first slip took the catch.  Peter Handscomb was hit on his pads and the whole England team went up. Umpire Marais Erasmus gave it not out and England reviewed it. Again it was umpires call and Handscomb could breathe again but not for long he had a torrid time facing Archer but it was Woakes who got him. Woakes got one to nip back at him and Handscomb was bowled through the gate.  14 for three was Australia lowest score for three wickets against England in ODI.

Marcus Stoinis was the fifth man out five balls after Maxwell when he played back to Rashid’s googly and was leg before for a duck. Replay’s showed it to be shaving the top of the bail.

Rashid got his third wicket when Cummins cut a wide googly to Root at slip.  For the new batsman Morgan brought in a leg slip. Rashid took his three wickets for 26 runs in five overs.  His figures of three for 54 were his best for the tournament.


July 28, 2019 11:38 pm

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