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    Woakes, Roy fire England to first World Cup final since 1992

    July 12, 2019

    BIRMINGHAM, THURSDAY – England sailed into their first World Cup final since 1992 with a merciless performance beating defending champions Australia by eight wickets in the second semi-final played at Edgbaston here on Thursday.The batting of the two teams was totally in contrast to each other. Whereas Australia stuttered to 223 in 49 overs after winning the toss and batting first, England simply eased past the target in the 33rd over replying with 226-2 to book themselves a place in Sunday’s final at Lord’s where they will play New Zealand.

    England were set on course towards their comprehensive win by openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow who saw off Australia’s new ball attack of Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff to post a stand of 124 off 104 balls.Roy was in devastating form tearing into the Australian bowling pummelling them for five sixes and nine fours for 85 off 65 balls before being unfortunately given out caught behind by Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena off Pat Cummins.

    Roy no doubt was furious with the decision and took some time to go off the field having a long conversation with the umpires after Dharmasena blundered by calling for a review when England in fact had already exhausted theirs. One had to be sorry for Roy because he looked good enough for a hundred and TV replays later showed that he had not touched the ball. However Roy left himself open to dissent on the field and may be reprimanded by the ICC.

    The dismissals of Bairstow for 34 and Roy didn’t upset England’s momentum as Joe Root (49 n.o. off 46 balls) and captain Eoin Morgan (45 n.o. off 39 balls) saw their team home in an unbroken stand of 79 off 75 balls.

    From the outset England didn’t allow Australia to play their brand of cricket they are normally renowned for as Man of the Match Chris Woakes and Joffra Archer tore into their top order batting to have them reeling at 14-3. By the end of the first power play of 10 overs Australia were 27/3 – their lowest power play of the tournament.

    Australia’s success has largely been dependent on the opening partnerships provided by David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch who had between them scored 1,154 runs. England knew if they were to keep Australia down to a reasonable total early wickets was the key.


    After Warner had driven the first ball of the match off Woakes to the cover boundary the England opening bowlers were all over them.

    Archer trapped Finch lbw for a golden duck, the first time an Australian had been dismissed in that manner in the World Cup and Woakes followed with the wickets of Warner (9) and Peter Handscomb (4) who had replaced the injured Usman Khawaja.

    England bowled at a fiery pace with Alex Carey suffering a cut under his right chin that later required stitches by a rearing ball from Archer that required treatment on the field.

    Carey and Steve Smith built on a partnership of 103 to bring up the fiftieth century stand for Australia in World Cups before England broke through again on this occasion with spin.

    Adil Rashid, who has had an ordinary World Cup so far, pushed Australia further against the wall by breaking the partnership dismissing Carey for 46 and then going onto add the wickets of Marcus Stoinis (0) and Pat Cummins (6) to finish with three wickets for 54. Rashid had done a remarkable job for England getting key wickets in the middle overs.

    Archer returned to remove the dangerous Glenn Maxwell for 22 and Woakes the stubborn Starc for 29.

    Smith was the stand out player for Australia battling it out single-handedly to score a splendid 85 off 119 balls before his innings was ended by a superb piece of fielding by wicket-keeper Joss Buttler who removed his gloves to make a direct hit at the non-striker’s end to run him out.

    England’s execution on the field in bowling and fielding was outstanding with Woakes playing in front of his home supporters exceptional - up front and towards the backend of the Australian innings.

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