ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: England dethrone 5-time champs Australia

Omkar Paranjape
Friday, 12 July 2019

Eoin Morgan and Co thrash Australia to set up World Cup final date with New Zealand

BIRMINGHAM: For the first time in 23 years, a new World Cup champion will be crowned.

And, for the first time since 1992, either Australia or India won’t contest the final. Joining New Zealand in the final of the World Cup 2019 at the iconic Lord’s on Sunday will be hosts England, after they comprehensively beat Australia by eight wickets with almost 18 overs remaining in the second semi-final at Edgbaston. 

England are now in their fourth World Cup final while New Zealand reached their second successive final. In 2015, New Zealand had lost to Australia in a one-sided title clash, with a win for either side ensuring the nation its first cricket World Cup title.

Steve Smith continued his sublime form in World Cup knockouts, top-scoring for Australia with 85. Four times he’s now scored a half-century in WC KOs and taken his tally to 311 runs from four innings.

Yet, it couldn’t prevent Australia’s first-ever World Cup semi-final loss. Their hopes of defending 223 rested on the shoulders of Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff producing a repeat of Lord’s, whereas England’s chances of chasing down the total relied on Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy’s.

In a battle of pairs, it was “Roystow” who came out on top, and in some manner too. ALSO In the first seven overs, Australia had England working hard for runs, but England stayed on.

In seven overs, Bairstow and Roy had already forged the biggest partnership of the knockouts. The period of blocking was cut short by an insane flick for six from Roy off Starc, followed by a whip of Cummins towards deep fine leg.

Having played out 10 overs for 50 runs, which in itself was pretty good knowing the modest target, the next nine bled 91 with Roy going into overdrive. England’s world-beating combination, hungry for runs took off and simply did not look like being stopped.

The way Roy and Bairstow treated Starc, in particular, was almost a first. Swat, jab, thud, bang, thwack.

Mitchell Starc etched his name in the record books as he became the highest wicket-taking bowler (27 wickets) in a single edition of the World Cup.

The left-arm pacer, who came in this game with 26 wickets against his name, dismissed Jonny Bairstow to break Glenn McGrath’s record. The legendary Australian pacer had scalped 26 wickets during Australia’s 2007 World Cup-winning campaign in West Indies.

Starc trapped the England opener before the wickets in the 18th over to break a blistering 124-run opening stand. While Bairstow opted for a review, it did not work in his favour.

Conditions at Edgbaston were nothing like Manchester. There was no cloud cover and neither was the surface deteriorating and slow. The sun was out in all its glory and the surface was considered a belter. Yet, Australia, batting first lost their top three batsmen for 14 on board.

Smith staged a tremendous fightback for Australia almost till the very end, and along the way formed crucial partnerships. But England pulled things back remarkably through Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes, who returned impressive figures to bowl Australia out rather cheaply.

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