England defeated defending champions Australia to storm into the final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. England will face New Zealand at Lord’s on July 14 in a face-off, which was not many expected before the start of the tournament.
England are now in their 4th World Cup final while New Zealand reached their second successive final in a World Cup. In 2015, New Zealand had lost to Australia in a one-sided title clash.
England had entered World Cup finals in 1975, 1987 and 1992 before 2019. 5-time world champions Australia were bowled out for 223 after Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid took 3 wickets each for England. Jofra Archer, playing his maiden World Cup and the star of England’s bowling attack, picked 3 wickets.
Chasing a modest total at Edgbaston, England never looked like going wrong. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow added 124 for the first wicket before Joe Root and Eoin Morgan steered the hosts home.
Mitchell Starc, meanwhile broke an all-time record when he went past Glenn McGrath for the most wickets in a single edition of the World Cup. Jason Roy led the charge for England with a 65-ball 85 while Bairstow, Root and Morgan ensured Australia never had a foot in the door.
Earlier in the day, Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and decided to bat. But Jofra Archer drew first blood for England in the 2nd over when he removed Finch for a duck.
David Warner finished with 647 runs in the World Cup, 1 short of the tournament’s highest run-scorer so far – Rohit Sharma. But in the semi-final, Warner scored only 9 before he fell to Chris Woakes in the 3rd over.
Woakes inflicted more damage on Australia when he dismissed Peter Handscomb who had come in as repalcement for the injured Usman Khawaja. However, Australia showed some fight with Steve Smith leading the charge. He joined forces with Alex Carey who braved a hit on the jaw to add 103 for the 4th wicket.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid dismissed Carey and Marcus Stoinis in the 28th over and that signalled the end of Australia’s challenge with the bat. Mitchell Starc scored an impressive 29 and was involved in a crucial stand with Smith but both men fell off successive deliveries.
Steve Smith was run out for 85 while Starc fell to Woakes in the 48th over.
20 years ago, Australia had pulled off a stunning tie against South Africa in the semi-final. This time, there would be no such miracle as England raced away to a sensational victory.