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England beat Australia to reach World Cup final


Jason Roy
 BIRMINGHAM, July 11 - England entered their first World Cup final since 1992 decimating five-time champions Australia by eight wickets after a fearless knock from Jason Roy here on Thursday.

Chasing 224 in a World Cup semifinal was not expected to be a walk in the park but England made it just that with an aggressive approach that has become synonymous with them over the past four years.

Openers Roy (85 off 65) and Jonny Bairstow (34 off 43) shared a 124-run stand, their fourth century stand in a row, to do bulk of the job for their team after the bowlers put up an allround show to dismiss Australia for 223 despite a valiant effort from Steve Smith (85).

Joe Root (49 not out off 46) and captain Eoin Morgan (45 not out off 39) knocked off the remaining runs to complete a famous win in just 32.1 overs. England, who lost three World Cup finals in 1979, 1987 and 1992, now have a golden opportunity to win the elusive crown with a victory against New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.

As India experienced in the first semifinal, chasing even a modest target has proved to be tricky in the tournament but England batsmen, especially Roy, made it look easy with their delightful stroke play. Roy, who was unlucky to be given out caught behind when the replays suggested otherwise, was unstoppable from the word go.

Earlier, a hostile bowling performance from England pacers broke the backbone of Australian batting. However, courtesy Smith, Australia got something to bowl at after a fiery opening spell from Chris Woakes (3/20) and Jofra Archer (2/32) had them gasping for breath at 14 for three.

The gutsy right-hander got some help from Alex Carey (46 off 70) and Mitchell Starc (29 off 36) in posting a fighting total. Besides the England pacers, leggie Adil Rashid (3/54) made a significant contribution by taking crucial wickets in the middle overs. – PTI

Scorecard

Australia: DA Warner c Bairstow b Woakes 9, AJ Finch (c) lbw b Archer 0, SPD Smith run out (Buttler) 85, PSP Handscomb b Woakes 4, AT Carey c sub (JM Vince) b Rashid 46, MP Stoinis lbw b Rashid 0, GJ Maxwell c Morgan b Archer 22, PJ Cummins c Root b Rashid 6, MA Starc c †Buttler b Woakes 29, JP Behrendorff b Wood 1, NM Lyon not out 5. Extras: 16 (lb 6, w 10). Total: 223 all out (49 overs). Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-10, 3-14, 4-117, 5-118, 6-157, 7-166, 8-217, 9-217, 10-223. Bowling: CR Woakes 8-0-20-3, JC Archer 10-0-32-2, BA Stokes 4-0-22-0, MA Wood 9-0-45-1, LE Plunkett 8-0-44-0, AU Rashid 10-0-54-3.

England: JJ Roy c Carey b Cummins 85, JM Bairstow lbw b Starc 34, JE Root not out 49, EJG Morgan (c) not out 45. Extras: 13 (lb 1, w 12). Total: 222/2 (32.1 Overs). Yet to bat: BA Stokes, JC Buttler †, CR Woakes, LE Plunkett, AU Rashid, JC Archer, MA Wood. Fall of wickets: 1-124, 2-147. Bowling: JP Behrendorff 8.1-2-38-0, MA Starc 9-0-70-1, PJ Cummins 7-0-34-1, NM Lyon 5-0-49-0, SPD Smith 1-0-21-0, MP Stoinis 2-0-13-0.

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