Australia’s 223 never looked like a big target, and after the English opening pair put up a blistering 124-run stand, the target looked even smaller.
As Eoin Morgan’s lofted hit went over mid-on’s head, England’s four years of perseverance and 27 years of wait came to fruit. They have tip-toed their way to Lord’s, blowing away their arch-rivals Australia. A win by eight wickets with more than 100 balls still to play, calling this win dominating would be an understatement. The trophy is at home, the question is, can they keep it home?
Australia’s 223 never looked like a big target, and after the English opening pair put up a blistering 124-run stand, the target looked even smaller. Steve Smith’s valiant 85 took Australia to something respectful, but was never enough.
After winning the toss, the Aussie skipper Aaron Finch decided to bat first. The decision boomeranged as they were 14-3 within seven overs, with Aaron Finch and David Warner along with World Cup debutant Peter Handscomb were sent back to the hut by Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes. Alex Carey had his chin bleeding after being hit by an Archer bumper, but started rebuilding the innings alongside Steve Smith. Carey holed out to deep mid-wicket on 46 off Adil Rashid, Rashid then almost instantly trapped Stoinis in front of the stumps with a googly. Smith tried to rebuild once again with Maxwell but their 39-run stand was broken by Archer as Maxwell sliced his shot to extra cover. Pat Cummins returned shortly after, but Mitchell Starc and Smith put together a vital 51-run partnership. Jos Buttler’s brilliant nutmeg throw runned Smith out, and the last two wickets fell for six runs as Australia were bowled out for 223. Woakes and Rashid both picked up three wickets each, whereas Archer picked up two.
The English openers started off slowly, picking up only six runs from the first three overs. They accelerated, but still were in the first gear, scoring 50 in the first ten overs. But then started the storm from Jason Roy’s bat as he went on to pick up his fifth fifty of the tournament. Roy unleashed himself on Steve Smith in the 16th over, as he hit the Aussie leg-spinner for three sixes in a row. Starc dismissed Bairstow a short while after, but England were already on their way to victory. Couple of overs later, Roy was given out caught behind off Behrendorff, but he was clearly unhappy with the decision and did not hide it. He was livid on the field, and he had the right to do it as Ultraedge clearly showed no spike as the ball passed the bat. But Bairstow had used up the review, and Roy had to leave. Root and Morgan picked up from where Roy left, and their 79-run partnership took England to their fourth World Cup Final, after 27 long years. Chris Woakes was adjudged Man of the Match for his brilliant bowling performance of three for 20.
- 27 - Mitchell Starc has the most number of wickets this World Cup and it is also the record for the most number of wickets in a World Cup edition. He overtakes fellow countryman Glenn McGrath, who took 26 wickets in the 2007 World Cup at the West Indies.
1 - This was Australia’s first defeat in the eight World Cup semifinals they have played, winning six of them and the other one being their infamous tie against South Africa in 1999.
5 - Jason Roy has scored five fifty-plus innings in the six innings he has played in this World Cup.
107 balls – England’s victory now sits fourth on the list of wins with most balls spared at World Cup semis, second-most since the 50-over format started.