Aaron Finch scores 100, Jason Behrendorff bags 5 for 44.
Images from the England-Australia World Cup match, at Lord’s, on Tuesday.
IMAGE: Australia’s Aaron Finch celebrates after getting to 100 in Tuesday’s World Cup match against England, at Lord’s. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters
Aaron Finch scored his second century of the tournament and Jason Behrendorff bagged five wickets for 44 runs as defending champions Australia outclassed England by 64 to seal a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup, at Lord’s, on Tuesday.
While Australia became the first team to make it to the last four stage of cricket’s showpiece event, England’s second straight defeat, following the stunning reverse to Sri Lanka, made their path to the semis tougher than it was about a week ago.
After restricting arch-rivals Australia to 285 for 7 in their blockbuster World Cup showdown, the home side, despite a gutsy 89 from Ben Stokes, could muster only 221 from 44.4 overs.
IMAGE: Jason Behrendorff celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Moeen Ali. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters
England found the left-arm pace of Jason Behrendorff (5/43) and Mitchell Starc (4/44) too hot to handle. They were off to the worst possible start, losing James Vince to only the second ball of the innings.
Bigger blows awaited the hosts as the Lord’s watched in disbelief the quick departure of the in-from Joe Root followed by skipper Eoin Morgan.
IMAGE: James Vince is bowled by Jason Behrendorff. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters
At 26 for three in the sixth over, England were staring down the barrel against a side that is historically known to raise its game on the biggest stage, more so when the stakes are high.
England were pushed further down the abyss when Jonny Bairstow was dismissed by Behrendorff, and reduced to 53 for four in the 14th over.
Stokes and Jos Buttler somewhat rescued the innings with a 71-run partnership for the fifth wicket, but the wicketkeeper-batsman was out after scoring 25 off 27 balls.
IMAGE: Ben Stokes hit eight 4s and two 6s in his fighting 89 off 115 balls. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters
The match was as good as over when Starc bowled Stokes with one of the tournament’s finest yorkers to leave the home team reeling at 177 for six.
Behrendorff then dismissed Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer before Starc completed the demolition with the wicket of Adil Rashid.
Earlier, comfortably placed at 185 for three in the 36th over, Australia were headed for a 300-plus total, but lost the plot due to England’s fine comeback and lack of discretion on part of most of the batsmen that followed Finch and David Warner.
Sent in to bat after Eoin Morgan called it right at the toss, Australia were given another fine start by their in-from openers, who took them to 123 in the 23rd over before Warner, the tournament’s leading scorer, fell after a well-made 53 off 62 balls.
IMAGE: David Warner reacts after losing his wicket. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters
Dropped on 15, Finch (100) went on register his 15th ODI century, off 115 balls, but got out to the very next ball, leaving the responsibility of finishing the innings in style on Steve Smith’s shoulders.
Smith (38) batted positively until he was sent back by Woakes, while Alex Carey smashed 38 off 27 balls, but the defending champions lost the plot following the dismissals of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.
Maxwell hit Archer for a four before sending his thunderbolt over long on and into the crowd for a six. But he did not last long, and Australia were 228 for five, when Stoinis was run-out in the 42nd over due to the combined efforts of Jonny Bairstow, Rashid and Buttler.
IMAGE: Ben Stokes celebrates bowling Usman Khawaja. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters
Earlier, Warner and Finch shared another 100-plus stand for the first-wicket. It was the pair’s fifth successive partnership of 50 or more at the tournament, a World Cup record.
Finch found the fence 11 times during his 116-ball knock and cleared it twice, Moeen Ali being at the receiving end on both occasions.
IMAGE: Chris Woakes celebrates taking the wicket of Steve Smith. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters
Mixing caution with aggression, Finch and Warner pulled, cut and drove with confidence to give Australia upper hand.
However, England tightened things up and also bagged a few wickets at regular intervals to peg Australia back in the latter half of their innings.