England dominated rivals Australia from beginning to end in the Cricket World Cup semi-final, winning by eight wickets with over 17 overs to play, to reach their first final since 1992, where they will face New Zealand on Sunday.
Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid were the heroes with the ball and Jason Roy and Joe Root the heroes with the bat as England cruised into Sunday’s final.
Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and chose to bat on an overcast morning at Edgbaston and he was instantly made to regret his decision with Woakes and Archer reducing them to 14-3 with Finch, David Warner and Peter Handscomb all out before the end of the seventh over.
Woakes celebrates the huge wicket of David Warner for nine. Image: PA Images
Alex Carey and Steve Smith then put on a partnership of 103 before Carey and Marcus Stoinis were dismissed by Adil Rashid in the same over.
The Aussies still had a chance to save their innings with Smith and Glenn Maxwell but the latter was deceived by a change in pace from Archer after scoring 22 off 23 balls.
After Pat Cummins was out Smith and Mitchell Starc put on 51 runs before the former captain was incredibly run out, through his legs, by Jos Buttler at the non striker’s end for an impressive 85.
The hosts were set 224 to go through and face New Zealand, who surprised India over two days at Old Trafford in the first semi, and the pitch in Birmingham hadn’t done enough to suggest they wouldn’t.
Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow looked at times like they were going to get to their total on their own, giving treatment to every bowler, even Starc.
Australia got so desperate that they introduced Smith into the bowling attack, only to see his one over go for 21 runs.
Bairstow was given out LBW off Starc for 34 and the review held up the decision, leaving England 124-1 in the 18th over.
The review looked silly at the time but was made to look even worse when Roy was given out for being adjudged to clipping the ball through to the ‘keeper,’ the opener was fuming and didn’t have a review left but the replay proved it was a terrible decision.
He departed on 85 from 65 balls and left England 147-2 and needing 77 from just over 30 overs and Joe Root and Eoin Morgan at the crease.
The ODI and Test captains didn’t need to slog their way to the end but still scored at over a run a ball to take England to the win.
It was the first time that Australia have lost a Cricket World Cup semi-final and the first time since 1992 that England have made the final.
Will Morgan lead his team to their first 50 overs World Cup victory or will New Zealand ruin the party at Lords?