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June 26, 2019

Australia first to reach WC semis


June 26, 2019

LONDON: Australia became first team to confirm their place in the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday with a comprehensive 64-run victory against England. Aaron Finch’s team lost the toss but managed to score 285 for seven in their 50 overs, with Finch top-scoring with 100.

England lost wickets at regular intervals in their reply and despite a battling 89 from Ben Stokes, were all out for 221 in the 45th over.Earlier, Australia captain Aaron Finch hit a hundred before England fought back with the ball in their World Cup clash at Lord’s on Tuesday. Reigning champions Australia looked set for a huge total at 185-2 but, one ball after completing his century, Finch holed out.

Australia continued to lose wickets but, with Alex Carey 38 not out, they finished on 285-7 off their 50 overs to leave England with a stiff but not impossible chase against their arch-rivals.

However, an Australia attack led by left-arm quick Mitchell Starc defended a total of 288 to beat the West Indies by 15 runs earlier in the tournament, with Finch side’s having won all four games in which they have bowled second at this World Cup. “To get out straight after a hundred is never ideal,” said Finch. “I think there is enough in the wicket. It is still a pretty good score. “It wasn’t the easiest wicket to start on. The ball was moving for the seamer. We were conscious to get through that and were able to. We could have got a few more runs but we have got to defend it regardless.”

Both Warner, the World Cup’s leading run-scorer, and Steve Smith were booed as they entered and exited the field following their recent return from year-long bans for ball-tampering.

England captain Eoin Morgan, who has said it is not his job to tell the crowd how to behave, won the toss in overcast conditions and on a green pitch that promised to help his attack.Finch and David Warner (53) shared a fine first-wicket stand of 123, with Finch earning a reprieve on 15 when James Vince could not hold a tough chance at backward point.

Brief scores: Australia 285/7 in 50 overs (Aaron Finch 100; Chris Woakes 2-46) beat England 221 in 44.4 overs (Ben Stokes 89; Jason Behrendorff 5-44, Mitchell Starc 4-44) by 64 runs.

World Cup points table

Teams M W L NR Pts NRR

Aus 7 6 1 0 12 +0.906

NZ 6 5 0 1 11 +1.306

Ind 5 4 0 1 9 +0.809

Eng 7 4 3 0 8 +1.051

BD 7 3 3 1 7 -0.133

SL 6 2 2 2 6 -1.119

Pak 6 2 3 1 5 -1.265

WI 6 1 4 1 3 +0.190

SA 7 1 5 1 3 -0.324

Afg 7 0 7 0 0 -1.634

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