November 17, 2019
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    We have got better as a group - Morgan

    July 13, 2019

    BIRMINGHAM, FRIDAY: Australia’s losing captain Aaron Finch was gracious in defeat after his team was eliminated from the 2019 Cricket World Cup final by England when they were beaten comprehensively by eight wickets in the semi-finals played at Edgbaston here on Thursday.Australia winning the toss and batting first could muster only 223 and England replied with 226-2 to win with 107 balls to spare.It was Australia’s first defeat in a World Cup semi-final and Finch undoubtedly wasn’t happy with the result.

    “We came here expecting to win. We felt like our preparation leading in to the tournament and then the momentum we'd built-up through the tournament was really important and we came here feeling good, we trained well, we had enough break in between games and guys were fresh enough, so very disappointing,” said Finch at the post-match press conference.

    The Aussie skipper admitted that the game was lost in the first ten overs of the match.

    “We know they were going to come really aggressive at us with the bat, so we had to be aggressive with the ball, we had to take or create ten chances and take them as well, so it wasn't going to be a game, especially against England, a game that peters out into the 47th, 48th over. It was going to be ultra-aggressive and they got on top of us early with the bat,” said Finch.

    “But the damage was really done with the ball. That sets you back. That forced us to rebuild for such a long time and start to drag some momentum back and then, like I said, you lose a couple of quick wickets again, new batters starting, it is always tough against really good leg-spin and good quicks as well.

    “So, all in all, we were totally outplayed to be honest all throughout the day, so you look back at that and you can analyse each ten overs, but just outplayed,” he said.

    Finch said that he was not at all surprised the way England came at them from the very first ball.

    “They have done it quite a bit in this tournament. They've got bowlers that hit the seam and if there is anything in the wicket, they will certainly get it out of it. Chris Woakes, a world-class bowler, puts it in the right area time and time again. Archer is getting better and better as he's starting to play a bit more international cricket as well, so definitely wasn't a surprise.”

    Woakes and Archer removed Warner, Finch and Handscomb to have Australia reeling at 14-3, a position from which they never recovered despite a defiant knock of 85 from former captain Steve Smith.

    Woakes finished with three for 20 to take the Man of the Match award and Archer 2 for 32. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid did the damage to the Australian middle order batting with three wickets for 54.

    Eoin Morgan the England captain who is leading his team’s renaissance in one-day cricket said the performance in the last three games have shown that they have got better and better as a group.

    “Today (Thursday) was, I suppose, a step further in the performance and adding on the two that we've built on already, I think it was important that we did that. Everybody out there on the field and even in the changing room loved every ball that was bowled. There was no lack of commitment, application and we had a bit of a day out which, it's cool when it happens like that, particularly when the bowlers bowl like that, it is awesome,” said Morgan who is on the cusp of winning a fifty-over World Cup for England come Sunday.

    England’s performance on Thursday just went to show how dominant and confident a team they are. Their win over Australia saw them reach their first World Cup final in 27 years. The last occasion they did so in 1992 also the competition was played to a similar format. However they were deprived of laying their hands on the World Cup by Imran Khan’s ‘cornered tigers’ that went onto win the final played at Melbourne by 22 runs.

    When questioned whether Sunday would be the day for England, Morgan was rather apprehensive and said, “I wouldn't get too carried away yet. It is obviously a very exciting time for everybody and ourselves included. I think giving ourselves the opportunity for Sunday's final is brilliant.

    “Sunday's not a day to shy away from, it's a day to look forward to, much like today. We have created the opportunity to play in a World Cup final. It will be a matter of the same again trying to produce everything that we can performance-wise but enjoy the day. We'll be giving it everything we can in order to try and win that game,” said Morgan.

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