World Cup 2019: Australia boss over England to qualify for semi-finals
Skipper Aaron Finch's ton and pacer Behrendorff's fifer ensure defending champions dominate England in 64-run win to book semis spot
London: The new, aggressive England under Eoin Morgan had started the World Cup as the favourites. Yet, they are slowly losing their way as they were outplayed by Australia at Lord's yesterday in a match between the oldest rivals in world cricket. The 64–run defeat was their third in seven games and are now in danger of missing out on a semi-final berth, especially as they play their last two matches against India and New Zealand, the two unbeaten teams in the competition.
England had promised much before the tournament, and this is still considered as their best chance to win the maiden World Cup. For that, of course, they will have to lift themselves from the hole they have dug themselves into and regroup fast for the remaining two matches.
Captain Morgan had tried to ward off the pressure on the eve of the match by saying that it was not necessary for them to beat the Australians in order to finish in the top four. Going into the crucial match with such negative attitude was surely not the best way forward. And they have had to pay a heavy price.
Morgan will also be dissected in the media for his decision to bowl first, as it had rained early in the morning and he had hoped that his bowlers would make early inroads into the Aussie batting. But Aaron Finch and David Warner put on a century stand to put a dampener on their plans. Although England pulled things back in the latter part of the innings, 286 was still a formidable target to chase under pressure.
There is little doubt that the Aussie opening pair made all the difference. Finch and Warner are proving to be the best opening batsmen at this World Cup with both having centuries to their credit. They have been responsible for giving their team a good platform in most games, barring against India, the only match they have lost so far. Their 123-run alliance set up the victory with the bowlers, spearhead by Mitchell Starc (4-43) and Marcus Stonis (5-44) doing their job to a nicety by sharing nine wickets.
England's tendency to go after the bowing right for the beginning proved disastrous and they were 26 for three in a jiffy. From thereon it was an uphill battle, though Ben Stokes tried his best by playing another responsible innings under pressure. But then, there is no reward for having fought bravely. Points in the pocket are all that matters and England are stuck at eight points from seven games, just a point ahead of dark horses Bangladesh.
Man of the match Finch has been leading from the front with three half-centuries and two centuries in seven matches so far and that has been one of the reasons for Australia being the front-runners. On the other hand, Morgan except for his blistering knock against Afghanistan, has been found wanting against top teams.
Aaron Finch is the only captain to score a century against England in the World Cup. He is also the first player to hit two tons against the Englishmen in the 50-over mega event
The year England registered their last World Cup victory over Australia
No. of consecutive 50-plus stands put on by David Warner and Aaron Finch — the most by any pair in all World Cups
No. of centuries scored by Aaron Finch — the most by an Australian against any team in ODIs — surpassing Adam Gilchrist (six centuries against Sri Lanka) and Ricky Ponting (six centuries against India and New Zealand)
Jason Behrendorff is the fourth Australian to claim a fifer against England in World Cups
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