London: Australia hammered England by 64 runs at Lord’s on Tuesday to enter the semi-finals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. After Aaron Finch smashed a classy 100, Jason Behrendorff picked 5 for 44 and Mitchell Starc finished with 4 for 43 as England failed to chase 286.
Australia, the defending champions are the first team to reach the last four of the 2019 World Cup. England, the hosts and one of the pre-tournament favourites, are now in a bit of a spot. They now have 8 points from 7 matches and face must-win matches against India and New Zealand for a safe passage into the semis.
England were rattled in the 2nd ball of their chase when James Vince was bowled by Behrendorff. Joe Root, England’s leading run-scorer this World Cup, was then trapped LBW by Starc. Eoin Morgan did not look comfortable during his brief stay and top-edged a short ball from Starc – England were in tatters at 26 for 3 in the 6th over.
But England still dreamt with Ben Stokes in the middle. He dropped anchor and played some enthralling shots to keep England in the hunt. When he started his association with Jos Buttler, it looked like England would take it close.
However, England were pegged back further Marcus Stoinis removed the dangerous Buttler. After a promising partnership between Stokes and Chris Woakes, Starc produced a lethal yorker to end Stokes’s stay for 89.
From thereon, it was a matter of time before Australia romped home to a comfortable win. It was a special day for Behrendorff and it was made more special when he dismissed Jofra Archer to pick his maiden 5-wicket haul in ODIs.
Earlier, Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to put Australia in to bat in overcast conditions. After a watchful start, Aaron Finch and David Warner got into their groove and became the first opening pair to be involved in 5 successive 50+ stands in the World Cup.