Australian skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and decided to bat first. However, there was some nip in the wicket at the start and it proved to be fatal for the Aussies as their top order departed with just 14 runs on the board.
A brilliant partnership between Alex Carey and Steve Smith brought things back on track but a double-wicket over from Adil Rashid swung things England’s way. In the end, Australia were bundled out for 223 runs in 49 overs.
In reply, England's openers came out all guns blazing and smashed Australian fast bowlers all over the park. The trusted pair of Roy-Bairstow delivered once again with a 100-run partnership at the top.
The formalities were completed in the 32nd over as captain Eoin Morgan smashed the decisive boundary off Behrendorff to guide England into the final of World Cup after a gap of 27 years.
Here is a look at three reasons why Australia were eliminated in the semi-finals.
#1 Openers fail to get going
Australian openers have been the pillar of Australia’s success in the 2019 World Cup. Both Aaron Finch and David Warner were stupendous with the bat and forged 100-run partnerships in the tournament with ridiculous ease, in the leadup to the semifinal.
These two laid solid platforms for the underwhelming middle order to capitalize upon. However, when it mattered the most, both of them departed without troubling the scorers much.
Finch’s nemesis- the inswinger, once again led to his demise as Jofra Archer got his first ball spot on and Finch was caught right in front of the stumps. Warner looked in good touch as he smashed two boundaries off Chris Woakes. However, Woakes had the last laugh as he induced an edge from Warner which was safely taken by Jonny Bairstow at first slip.
Usman Khawaja’s replacement Peter Handscomb had a forgettable outing and was cleaned up by Woakes for a golden duck. These big blows saw Australia find themselves under the pump early on in the contest.
Also see – England vs New Zealand head to head stats
#2 Rashid dismantles the middle order
Australia’s inform batsman Alex Carey along with former captain Steve Smith brought some parity to the proceedings as the duo added more than 100 runs for the fourth wicket. Just when Carey was looking to launch into the England attack, Rashid dismissed him as the substitute fielder James Vince took a comfortable catch at deep midwicket.
In the very same over, Rashid deceived Marcus Stoinis with the wrong one. Stoinis was struck right in front of the stumps and the on-field umpire Kumar Dharamsena had no hesitation in raising his finger. This double wicket over brought England back on top in the game.
Rashid wasn’t done yet and returned to take the wicket of Pat Cummins to dig Australia in a deeper hole. Rashid’s spell of 3/54 was decisive in the end as it didn’t allow Australia to break free. With all the focus on the faster men, it was Rashid’s wrist spin that did the trick for the home side.
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#3 Pacers have an off day
Australia’s seam attack has looked solid in this World Cup. Mitchell Starc has spearheaded Australia’s campaign and has been the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 27 wickets.
Starc was clinical with the ball throughout the World Cup 2019, providing crucial breakthroughs for Australia. He was ably supported by Jason Behrendorff and Pat Cummins.
Defending a small target of 224 runs, Australia needed some big wickets right at the top from their star pacemen. They were very successful in the league stage against England and were hoping for similar success in the semis.
However, it didn’t go according to the plans for the defending champions as the England openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow put on 124 runs for the first wicket in no time. The trio of Aussie pacemen could only pick two wickets from their combined 24 overs. It led to Australia’s first ever defeat in the semi-finals of a World Cup.
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