Reigning champion Australia beat England by 64-runs at Lord’s Cricket Ground here and magnificent performance by skipper Aaron Finch 100 (116b,11×4,2×6) and left-arm medium-pacers Jason Behrendorff (five for 44) and Mitchell Starc (four for 43), enabled them to seal their place in the semi-finals in the on-going ICC World Cup 2019 on Tuesday.
Australia became the first team to qualify to the semi-finals.
Solid start by Australia
The men in form Aaron Finch (100) and David Warner 53 (61b,6×4) showed excellent batting prowess and excelled with the willow by adding 123-runs for the opening wicket which laid the foundation for a good score. David Warner departed (123 for one in 22.4 overs) caught by Joe Root off Moeen Ali.
The innings was further consolidated by Finch and Usman Khawaja 23 (29b,1×4) by adding 50-runs for the second wicket.
A. Finch departed after his century and Australia were reduced to 185 for three in 35.3 overs. S. Smith (38, 34b, 5×4) and Alex Carey (38 n.o., 27b, 5×4) were the other contributors for Australia. Australia’s middle-order slumped with Glenn Maxwell (12) and Marcus Stoinis (8) departing quickly.
Australia ended up scoring 285 for seven in 50 overs. Chris Woakes (two for 46) was the most successful bowler for England.
England, needing 286 to win, started badly losing two early wickets that of opener James Vince (0) and Joe Root (8) and were reeling at 15 for two in 3.3 overs. England’s batsman were under pressure to perform with both fast bowlers for Australia Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc taking a wicket each.
England were in all sorts of trouble losing skipper Eoin Morgan (4) off Mitchell Starc and they slumped to 26 for three in 5.5 overs. Opener Bairstow (27, 39b, 5×4) was the next to depart and Australia were reduced to 58 for four in 13.5 overs. After a vital 71-run partnership between Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler (25, 27b, 2×4), for the fifth wicket, Jos Buttler departed (124 for five in 27.2 overs). Chris Woakes (26) and the all-rounder Ben Stokes who played an excellent innings (89,115b, 8×4, 2×6) added 53-runs for sixth wicket. Adil Rashid (25) was the other contributor.
Wickets kept falling at regular intervals and England with no resistance from the lower order were bowled out for 221 in 44.4 overs. Left-arm medium-pacer Jason Behrendorff impressed with a five wicket haul (five for 44) and was well-supported by Mitchell Starc who took four for 43. Australia won by 64-runs.
Australia: 285 for 7 in 50 overs (A. Finch 100, D. Warner 51, Alex Carey 38 n.o., S. Smith 38, Usman Khawaja 23, Chris Woakes 2 for 46) bt England: 221 in 44.4 overs (Ben Stokes 89, Bairstow 27, Jos Buttler 25, Chris Woakes 26, Adil Rashid 25, Jason Behrendorff 5 for 44, Mitchell Starc 4 for 43). Player of the Match: Aaron Finch.