2019 Cricket World Cup: Australia qualify for semi-finals with crushing defeat of England
Behrendorff picked up five wickets with a thrilling spell of swing bowling (photo: Getty Images)

2019 Cricket World Cup: Australia qualify for semi-finals with crushing defeat of England

Three defeats have left England's qualification hopes in the balance.

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

An impressive Australian performance combined with poor game management from England ensured that these two great cricketing rivals continue to see their World Cup fortunes propel into opposite directions.

Whilst Australia, widely disregarded by many as potential World Cup champions, have qualified for the semi-finals with a game to spare, England have now lost two on the bounce, three in the tournament, and could be required to beat both India and New Zealand to qualify.

Australia start well before England bowlers fight back

The hosts won what appeared to be an important toss under humid, overcast conditions, perfect for fielding first. With opener David Warner expected to reach the crease surrounded by hostilities from all angles, the Lord's crowd were expectant of English success, despite their relatively poor record at the Home of Cricket in recent times.

Yet, despite a couple of near misses from captain Aaron Finch, England struggled to keep their emotions in check, bowling too short as they appeared more interested in roughing Warner up rather than taking his crucial wicket.

Finch and Warner dominated the English bowlers by rotating the strike and picking off boundaries at opportune moments as they made 123 by the time Moeen Ali dismissed Warner for 53 in the 23rd over.

Looking well set for a score above 300, Australia should have been in well control of the innings going into the second half of their 50 overs. However, regular wickets turned the screw with the likes of Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid particularly economical.

Finch made a century but lost his wicket to Jofra Archer a ball later when preparing to take the game away from England. In the end, it was only an unbeaten cameo of 38 from 27 by Alex Carey that got Australia anywhere close to 300 as they scored just 72 runs from the last 70 balls after Glenn Maxwell failed again.

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Aussie bowlers tear through England despite Stokes resistance

England are undoubtedly missing Jason Roy, who has returned to nets training this week, and his replacement, James Vince, was sent packing early again. With just the second ball of the innings, Jason Behrendorff found some swing as he took the first of five wickets in an impressive individual display.

Combining with the sheer pace of Mitchell Starc, the duo tore the heart out of England's top order. Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, usually the anchors of the light blues, departed in successive Starc overs as the hosts slumped to 26-3.

Opener Jonny Bairstow was joined by Ben Stokes as the pair started to rebuild. Yet the former played an ill-advised pull stroke across his body as Behrendorff captured his second victim.

Jos Buttler played patiently for 25 as England made 71 in 81 deliveries for the fifth wicket before the usually aggressive striker was caught brilliantly on the boundary by Usman Khawaja.

Stokes then decided to increase the pace as the game appeared to be slipping away from England before a perfect yorker from Starc dismissed Stokes for 89, his third score above 80 in the tournament. As the all-rounder dropped his bat and kicked it away, you could feel the collective despair around the Lord's crowd.

The home side lasted just another seven overs, bowled out within their allocation for the second successive game. They now find themselves being hunted down by the likes of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

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