World Cup 2019, Semifinal 2: England vs Australia - 4 standout performances

Roald Grobler

England cricket team

England defeated Australia by eight wickets in the second World Cup semi-final to book a date with New Zealand at Lord's. 

England bowled first and dismissed Australia for just 223. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow then knocked off the runs with 18 overs to spare.

The hosts started the match on the front foot. They took three early wickets and reduced Australia to 14-3. Steve Smith and Alex Carey were defiant with a 103-run partnership, but it was never going to be enough to change the result. 

England started their innings in imperious fashion and scored 124 runs for the first wicket. Thereafter, the result was never in doubt.

Eoin Morgan's side are now through to Sunday’s final and will be happy with their convincing win. There were several standout performances in Thursday’s semi-final and here, we take a look at four of those.  

#1 Chris Woakes (3/20)

Australia v England - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final

Chris Woakes was instrumental in restricting Australia to a low score. The 30-year-old took two wickets in his opening spell, joining forces with Jofra Archer. 

Archer trapped Aaron Finch in front of the wickets in the second over. This dismissal paved the way for Woakes to strike. He slowly built pressure with dot balls, which led to David Warner’s dismissal. Warner was caught unawares by the extra bounce Woakes generated off the surface and nicked the ball to slip. 

Woakes was relentless in the subsequent overs, testing Peter Handscomb’s technique on several occasions. The 30-year-old bowled Handscomb in the end, leaving Australia reeling at 14-3. The Warwickshire pacer returned at the death and dismissed Mitchell Starc to cap off a wonderful spell. 

Woakes is one of the best ODI bowlers in the world and this performance is evidence of that. 

#2 Adil Rashid (3/54)

Adil Rashid

Adil Rashid was unusually quiet in the group stage; he took only eight wickets and never looked threatening. However, he awoke from his slumber in Thursday’s semi-final. 

Rashid was brought on to bowl in the 20th over and immediately made an impact. The 31-year-old broke the crucial partnership between Smith and Carey at exactly the right time. 

Rashid tossed the ball up to Carey who lofted it straight to James Vince at deep mid-wicket. It was a huge blow for Australia, one they would never recover from. 

Rashid took two more wickets later on, capping a superb outing for the leg-spinner.   

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#3 Steve Smith (85 off 119)

Australia v England - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final

The best batsmen in the world have the ability to score runs under pressure and that's the case with Steve Smith as well.

Smith walked to the crease with Australia in huge trouble at 4-1 (soon to be 14-3). Not overwhelmed by the situation, Smith and Alex Carey batted with aplomb. They scored 103 runs for the fourth wicket and moved Australia’s score to 117-3. 

Carey was then dismissed but Smith looked determined to bat until the end. The 30-year-old played several good shots through the leg-side and stayed calm even as wickets tumbled at the other end. 

Smith and Starc then added 51 runs for the eighth wicket before the former was run out by Jos Buttler.   

Smith played a superb innings to carry Australia to a fighting total, but it was not enough at the end.

#4 Jason Roy (85 off 65)

Jason Roy in action for England - Australia v England - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final

Jason Roy’s fairytale return from injury continued as the 28-year-old scored his third successive half-century and propelled England into Sunday’s final. 

The opener was in a belligerent mood from the start of his innings. He was ruthless against Australia’s pace duo of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. The onslaught started in the fourth over, when Roy hit two cover drives for four. Three overs later, he clipped Starc for six over square-leg. 

Roy’s biggest statement was reserved for Steve Smith. Smith came on to bowl in the 16th over and was smashed by the England opener for three sixes in a row. 

The last one was struck with incredible power and soared 101 metres long. Smith was immediately taken out of the bowling attack, while England coasted to victory.