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Posted at: Jul 12, 2019, 8:17 AM; last updated: Jul 12, 2019, 8:17 AM (IST)

home run

Woakes, Roy on the ball as hosts England crush Oz by 8 wkts, meet New Zealand in final
home run
England captain Eoin Morgan celebrates with Joe Root after winning the semifinal against Australia. AP/PTI

Tribune News Service

BIRMINGHAM, July 11

England, the strongest team in the world, have ended the reign of Australia in the World Cup. The home team beat the champions in the semifinals by eight wickets with a stunning display of fast bowling and attacking batting, handing Australia their first-ever defeat in a World Cup semifinal.

Set 224 to win, England were driven to the win by a 124-run opening stand between Jason Roy (85 off 65 balls) and Jonny Bairstow (34 off 43).

When Bairstow fell, England needed only 100 more in more than 32 overs, and the fans in the stands were already singing songs of happiness.

At a quarter past five, even as the rain that had been forecast finally started falling, captain Eoin Morgan  struck a four to end Australia’s reign and confirm England’s rise as an ODI superpower. Morgan embraced Joe Root in the middle, and the England fans in the stands celebrated with drunken ditties sung with fervour and passion. “Oh, Jonny Bairstow, You’re The Love Of My Life,” sang young men in the famous Hollies Stand, high on drink and delight. “We Even Like Your Red Hair, Jonny Bairstow.”

For all the love Bairstow got, it was Roy who powered the England innings with display of brutal and breathtaking stroke-play, making even men such as Waqar Younis and Graeme Swann jump out of their seats in excitement. Roy hit five sixers, three of them in one over by Steve Smith. Mitchell Starc, the best bowler of the tournament, went for 70 runs in nine overs and Nathan Lyon — the man with the best sledge against England before the game — for 49 off five. 

Aussies implode

Aaron Finch, the Australian captain, scorer of two 100s in the tournament, was just the man to silence the predominantly English crowd at the Edgbaston stadium here. But first-ball, he sent the crowd into paroxysms of delight; second over of the day, Joffra Archer beat him with a tremendous inswinger that beat Finch’s bat and struck him in front of the wicket. A golden duck from their captain is the last thing Australia needed in the semifinal against old foes England, but Finch had to walk back.

His opening partner, David Warner, was the next to go, when a Chris Woakes shot a quick, nasty bouncer at him, and Warner could only try to fend it off — caught out by Jonny Bairstow, Australia 10/2 in the third over.

It was to get much worse pretty soon; Peter Handscomb, brought in as a replacement of the injured Usman Khawaja, drove away from his body, and Woakes threaded the ball between bat-pad to remove the Aussie No. 4. At 14/3 in the seventh over, Australia were in trouble.

Here’s where the Aussies showed their fighting spirit — Steve Smith, the former captain, played ugly but played and played; Alex Carey was struck by a bouncer from Archer, and his helmet was knocked off. Carey suffered a cut on his jaw, blood flowed — but Carey played on bravely.

Smith and Carey added 103 runs for the fourth wicket, in 21.1 overs, to give Australia a fighting chance. Carey’s fall — failing to clear midwicket off Adil Rashid — turned the game. Glenn Maxwell (22) and Mitchell Starc (29) played useful cameos that helped Smith take the Australian score past 220, but that was never going to be enough against the rampaging English openers.

SCOREBOARD

2nd SEMI: July 11: England vs Australia
Toss: Australia (Batting)
Man of the Match: Chris Woakes

Australia

Runs Balls 4 6

D Warner c Bairstow b Woakes 9 11 2 0

A Finch lbw b Archer 0 1 0 0

S Smith run out 85 119 6 0

P Handscomb b Woakes 4 12 0 0

A Carey c Vince b Rashid 46 70 4 0

M Stoinis lbw b Rashid 0 2 0 0

G Maxwell c Morgan b Archer 22 23 2 1

P Cummins c Root b Rashid 6 10 0 0

M Starc c Buttler b Woakes 29 36 1 1

J Behrendorff b Wood 1 4 0 0

N Lyon not out 5 6 0 0

Extras: (lb 6, w 10) 16

Total: (All out; 49 overs) 223

FOW: 1-4, 2-10, 3-14, 4-117, 5-118, 6-157, 7-166, 8-217, 9-217, 10-223 

Bowling O M R W

Chris Woakes 8 0 20 3

Jofra Archer 10 0 32 2

Ben Stokes 4 0 22 0

Mark Wood 9 0 45 1

Liam Plunkett 8 0 44 0

Adil Rashid 10 0 54 3

England

Runs Balls 4 6

J Roy c Carey b Cummins 85 65 9 5

J Bairstow lbw b Starc 34 43 5 0

J Root not out 49 46 8 0

E Morgan not out 45 39 8 0

Extras: (lb 1, w 12) 13

Total: (2 wickets in 32.1 overs) 226

FOW: 1-124, 2-147

Bowling O M R W

Jason Behrendorff 8.1 2 38 0

Mitchell Starc 9 0 70 1

Pat Cummins 7 0 34 1

Nathan Lyon 5 0 49 0

Steve Smith 1 0 21 0

Marcus Stoinis 2 0 13 0

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