Glamorous, astounding, aggressive – this was one stellar show from England in the semi-final in front of their home fans. The target set for them was not gigantic, but the pressure of a World Cup semi-final in front of the home fans adding to what happened in the other game, no one expected the hosts to walk their way into the final, brushing the five-time champions aside without much difficulty.
England suffered an initial setback they lost the toss and Australia decided to bat first. But Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes’ brilliance nullified the importance of the toss, by producing three wickets inside the powerplay. Archer trapped Aaron Finch in front of the stumps whilst David Warner and Peter Handscomb couldn’t handle Woakes’ stringency.
Alex Carey was sent in at number five after a stretch of good performances and when he was hit on the chin by Archer, there was some blood-shed. Yet, he fought like a true Aussie and stitched a brilliant partnership with Steve Smith. The duo battled for the most part of the innings and took the side past the hundred-run mark without losing another wicket.
After adding 103 runs for the fourth wicket, Carey departed for a well-made 46 and in the same over, Adil Rashid dismissed Marcus Stoinis for a duck. Glenn Maxwell’s horrible World Cup ended with another low score as Smith continued to lose partners. Despite getting to a fifty, he just didn’t have enough support and 200 seemed a dream too far-fetched.
Mitchell Starc’s aggressive show, in the end, helped Australia go past the 200-mark and with three wickets left and a few overs remaining, it seemed like 250 was on cards. But a brilliant run-out saw Smith depart and the remaining wickets fell in a span 11 deliveries. They got packed up for 224 runs, with Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes picking three wickets each.
Jason Roy registers another match-winning performance
Jason Roy, without a shadow of a doubt, is one of the most fluent strikers of the cricket ball. The nonchalance with which he flicked Starc for a six in the powerplay and all the other beautiful shots he played over covers and mid-off showcased why he’s one of the topmost players this tournament. Jonny Bairstow played a beautiful second-fiddle as the duo once again stitched a 100-run partnership.
Roy was the aggressor in the partnership and completed a half-century well before Bairstow reached the 30-mark. The Yorkshire man was struggling with a knee injury but battled his way well before his wicket ended the 124-run opening partnership. Roy continued his brilliance for some more time before he was wrongly given out and had no reviews left to go upstairs for a check.
Roy was dismissed for a magnificent 65-ball 85 and there was a minor lifeline was Australia with 77 runs still to get. But Test skipper Joe Root and limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan continued the attacking brand of cricket, not giving Australia a chance to take a breath.
Australia’s main man Mitchell Starc was hammered to all parts on the day, as he conceded a whopping 70 runs in his 9 overs. Skipper Morgan’s boundary over long-on took England to the World Cup final for the first time in 9,969 days. Their partnership accounted for 79 runs.
Australia: 223 all out in 49 overs (Steven Smith 85, Alex Carey 46; Chris Woakes 3/20, Adil Rashid 3/54)
England: 226/2 in 32.2 overs (Jason Roy 85, Joe Root 49*, Eoin Morgan 45)
Result: England won by 8 wickets
Man of the Match: Chris Woakes
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