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Sports

July 12, 2019

‘You don’t defeat Australia, you humiliate them’

Sports

Fri, Jul 12, 2019

LONDON: One of the biggest under-achievers in World Cup history, England are just one step away from their maiden crown.

And the country’s cricket fraternity is ecstatic.

From former stars to top cricket writers and fans, everybody has been won over by England’s recent winning spree in the World Cup. The way England, who are yet to win the World Cup, thrashed bitter rivals Australia in the semis has come as an icing on the cake for the supporters of the home team.

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, was so pleased with England’s authoritative display at Edgabston that he decided to mock the Australians even as England were still chasing.

"The Aussies should try bowling bare-foot," Vaughan wrote on Twitter, a clear shot at Australia coach Justin Langer, who asked his players to take a walk around the field at Edgbaston barefoot during a training session in the lead up to the semi-final.

While Vaughan was sure of an English win, another former captain Alastair Cook had to overcome stereotypical English cynicism before really enjoying England’s impressive run-chase.

“I can’t believe I have just watched that,” he commented. “You always think there will be a twist in the tail but there was no twist. England were so good.”

England’s top cricket writers were impressed by what they witnessed at Edgbaston.

“England did not reach the World Cup final against New Zealand on Sunday. No, sir. They romped into it by playing some of the most exhilarating one-day cricket this world has seen,” wrote Telegraph’s Scyld Berry.

“Instead of freezing in their first World Cup semi-final since 1992 — so feeble have they been for a generation at the 50-over format — England played a virtually perfect game to eliminate the holders.

“Perhaps it was the sheer pizzazz of England’s performance that will live with the players through their rest and travel day, and their light practice at Lord’s on the eve of the final: such a combination of flair and efficiency that England have seldom exhibited in the knockout stages of any sport.”

Writing for Guardian, Vic Marks commented: “England’s passage to the World Cup final was faintly ridiculous. Semi‑finals are supposed to be gritty affairs with runs dourly chiselled out in a desperate quest to get to Lord’s.

“Yet Eoin Morgan’s England took the alternative route to a final. They smashed Australia.

“They were minded not just to defeat the Australians but to humiliate them.”