England on Thursday defeated Australia comfortably by eight wickets to book a place for themselves in the World Cup final with nearly 18 overs to spare. The hero of England’s semi-final win was their opening batsmen Jason Roy, who put up a 124-run partnership for the opening wicket with Jonny Bairstow.
Roy was declared out wrongly at 85, but he could not challenge his dismissal since England had already used their review. Bairstow made 34 runs before returning to the dressing room getting out LBW off Mitchell Starc’s bowling. The remaining task was completed by captain Eoin Morgan and Joe Root, who remained unbeaten at 41 and runs 53 respectively.
Batting first, Australia were all out for 223 with Steve Smith scoring 85 runs. The only other Australian batsman to make a decent score was Alex Carey, who played a knock of 46 runs. Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid took three wickets each.
Australia’s start was quite disastrous as they lost their first three wickets when the team’s total was just 14 in six overs.
England will now play New Zealand in the World Cup final at the Lord’s on 14 July. This is the first time England have qualified for the final since 1992 when they lost to Pakistan led by Imran Khan in Australia. The Kiwis had defeated India in the first semi-final.
Chris Woakes was adjudged Man Of The Match for his splendid bowling performance. Chris Woakes was just three years old when England reached the World Cup final the last time.
Speaking about his performance, Woakes said, “I’m pretty speechless. It was an incredible performance from the whole team. It started with the bowling performance and then the way they knocked that off was outstanding.
“There were some nerves around this morning but that’s natural going into a semi-final. The way we produced the goods just showed how good we are and where we are at as a team. I just got my length wrong for the first ball – there were a bit of nerves and a world-class player in David Warner is going to put that away. I got my length right after that and felt good.”
Morgan, for his part said, “If you told me after the last World Cup that we’d reach the final I wouldn’t have believed you. It sums up how far we have come in the last four years. Everyone should take a huge amount of credit.
“Today was close to perfect performance, right from the two bowlers upfront. Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer bowled a hell of a spell. They put pressure on with early wickets and allowed us to stay on the front foot.”