Australia humiliates England to confirm semi-final spot
Australia have made a statement to the rest of the cricketing world, crushing England by 64 runs at Lord’s to seal their place in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals.
England’s hopes of making the finals are teetering on the edge as they cling to fourth spot on the table, just one point ahead of Bangladesh.
Despite losing the toss on a gloomy morning in London, the Aussies could hardly have started better as Warner and Finch put on a 123-run partnership for the opening wicket.
But once Warner was caught at point and Finch dismissed one ball after making his century, England turned the screws.
Led by Alex Carey and Steve Smith, Australia continued to battle their way through to post what proved to be a winning 7-285 from their 50 overs.
As England looked to chase 286 for victory, Jason Behrendorff took James Vince’s wicket with just the second ball of the innings and it was all downhill from there for the tourists as the West Australian took five wickets in a dazzling display of fast bowling at the home of cricket.
The England captain stepping to square leg when Starc bowled his first delivery to him made me think England could have a little problem over the next week or so.
I hope not, but I’ve not seen a captain show such a weakness for a while…
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) June 25, 2019
It wasn’t just Behrendorff (5-44) who starred for the Aussies, with Mitch Starc taking four wickets, including dismissing both Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan for single figures.
From the moment Australia reduced the home side to 4-43 in the 14th over, they never looked like losing.
The 285 Australia posted seemed at least 20 runs short of what they would’ve hoped after making a fast start in the first innings but in hindsight, it proved more than enough.
England will be left reeling from the result as they face the prospect of clashes with New Zealand and India to finish the league stage of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Aussies are through to the semi-finals and will be looking to finish top of the table with matches against New Zealand and South Africa left.
LET’S NOT FORGET …
In March this year, AUS had won just four of its previous 28 ODIs.
Since then, the record has been 14 wins from 15 matches.
And, a guaranteed semi-final berth at the World Cup.
That is one helluva turnaround in form!
— Glenn Mitchell (@MitchellGlenn) June 25, 2019
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