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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Starc, Behrendorff demolish England to take Australia into semi-finals

With this win, Australia have climbed to the top of the points table, with 12 points from seven matches. Hosts England are still holding on to fourth spot, with 8 points from seven matches, but have Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan breathing down their backs.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: June 25, 2019 10:59:54 pm
Ben Stokes reacts after being dismissed for 89 against Australia at Lord’s on Tuesday (AP Photo)

Australia coasted to victory by 64 runs against England in their World Cup match at Lord’s in London on Tuesday. With this win, Australia have climbed to the top of the points table, with 12 points from seven matches. Hosts England are still holding on to fourth spot, with 8 points from seven matches, but have Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan breathing down their backs.

Toss: England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to send in Australia to bat first.

First Innings: Captain Aaron Finch (100) and David Warner (53) put on 123 runs – their fifth fifty-partnership in a row – before Warner fell. After Ben Stokes had bowled Usman Khawaja for 23, Finch reached three figures off 115 balls. But he skied Jofra Archer’s next delivery straight into the hands of Chris Woakes at fine leg and Australia lost momentum. Steve Smith, who was involved in a comical run out with Marcus Stoinis, made 38 before chipping Woakes to Archer at mid-on, and he left the field to a smattering of boos in reference to his role in last year’s ball-tampering scandal. Although Alex Carey pierced the field with a few crisp strokes to finish unbeaten on 38, England did well to pull it back towards the end of the innings to restrict Australia to a total of 285/7 in 50 overs.

Second Innings: England got off to a disastrous start as Jason Behrendorff (5/44) bowled out James Vince (0) on the second delivery of the first over. Joe Root (8), who has been in a tremendous form in the tournament, failed to leave a mark as he was trapped leg before by Mitchell Starc (4/43) in the fourth over with the team score on 15. In his next over, Starc sent English skipper Eoin Morgan back as the hosts found themselves in a sea of trouble. After Jonny Bairstow fell, Australia had England on the mat at 53/4. Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes (89) then steadied the innings and took the score past 100. However, after a 71-run stand between the two, Marcus Stoins scalped Buttler (25). Stokes carried on his valiant effort but was bowled out by an unplayable yorker by Mitchell Starc.

Gamechanger: The course of the match was decided in the first few overs of either innings. Aaron Finch (100) and David Warner (53) provided Australia a much-needed steady start at the beginning of the first innings. In the second innings, it was the left-arm pacers who rose to the occasion for Australia, as Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff proved to be too hot to handle for the hosts. Behrendorff picked up his first five-wicket haul in ODIs.

Captains Speak

Eoin Morgan: We were outplayed. Thought we bowled well up front. A little bit unlucky as Australia played and missed a lot. They built a fantastic partnership. The wicket got a little bit better, but was still challenging. Wicket this morning was soft when we started. Choosing to bat would’ve been a horrific decision. Finch played really well, capitalized on the start he got. We pegged it back really well. For a long time it looked like they’d get 330. When you’re 20/3, it pegs you back substantially. Given the circumstances, it’s not hugely disappointing. Our fate is in our own hands. Everything we need to turn around is simple.

Aaron Finch: Can’t win the tournament if you don’t make the semis. Have played some good cricket so far. England are a standout side. They can take you apart with the ball and bat. Stokesy when he gets in can be brutal on an attack. Behrendorff bowled beautifully. Nathan Lyon was brilliant. Didn’t get the rewards but he was outstanding. People are saying it’s not the Warner of old, but the wickets we’ve got in this tournament have demanded respect. He looked at his best today. We’re confident with what we’ve got.

Brief Scores: AUS 285/7 (50 overs) | ENG 221 (44.4 overs)

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