The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will see the crowning of a new champion. After New Zealand defeated India to enter the final for the second time, England booked their place in Lord’s on July 14 with a clinical and brutal eight-wicket thrashing of Australia in the second semi-final in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in Edgbaston on Thursday. This was England’s first win against Australia since the 1992 World Cup and it will be the first time since that night in Melbourne 27 years ago that England has reached the final. This was Australia’s first-ever loss in the semi-final and the five-time world champions were given a taste of their own medicine by an England side on the cusp of creating history.
England was always in the hunt when their bowlers had run through the Australian top order thanks to an early burst from Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer. Australia had no hesitation in batting but they were undone by the brilliance of England’s new-ball bowlers, who found swing and bounce on the Edgbaston deck to set the ball rolling. Jofra Archer sent back Aaron Finch for 0 while David Warner, who was the leading run-getter for Australia in this edition, fell to Woakes. When Peter Handscomb fell to Woakes with an in-cutter, Australia was in deep trouble.
However, Steve Smith and Alex Carey demonstrated their mettle and stitched a solid partnership. Smith looked untroubled and regularly kept the scoreboard ticking. Carey suffered a blow to his jaw when an Archer bouncer took his helmet off and he had to be bandaged heavily. Carey carried on and he took the attack to the bowling and the partnership put England on course for a decent total. The partnership went past 100 but Adil Rashid's double strike in the 28th over changed the course of the game. The legspinner removed Carey with a flighted ball and the batsman danced down the track but holed out to deep midwicket. In the same over, he removed Marcus Stoinis with a googly and Australia lost momentum.
Smith looked in good touch and scored his fifty and Glenn Maxwell got going with a six and four off Rashid. However, Archer struck by removing Maxwell with a knuckleball for 22 and it was left to Mitchell Starc and Smith to ensure Australia batted out the full fifty overs. Starc and Smith pushed Australia past 200 but in a moment of brilliance from Jos Buttler, he affected a direct hit at the bowler's end and Smith was run-out for 85. England cleaned up the tail and Australia was all out for 223.
In response, Roy and Bairstow blazed away in a rapid century partnership. Both batsmen regularly found the boundary and Roy showed his class by smashing his 18th fifty. In one over bowled by Steve Smith, Roy blasted a hat-trick of sixes as 21 runs came off the over. With both batsmen tearing the Australian bowling apart, it looked like the hosts were on their way of inflicting a humiliating defeat on the five-time champions. Australia found some redemption when Mitchell Starc trapped Bairstow LBW for 34 and the decision could not be overturned even on review.
The wicket by Starc took his tally of wickets to 27, the most by any bowler in one edition of the World Cup and it broke Glenn McGrath’s tally of 26 during the 2007 World Cup. Roy continued on his merry ways but there was a massive moment of controversy during the 20th over bowled by Pat Cummins. The bowler bowled a short ball down the leg side and Roy went for the pull, he missed and Alex Carey dived to his left and appealed for a catch. Umpire Kumar Dharmasena was initially hesitant to raise the finger but he did and that resulted in a shocking reaction from Roy.
Roy was flabbergasted and he decided to hang on, furious and muttering to himself. He clearly said that why it is not wide. Umpire Marais Erasmus from square leg urged Roy to go as England had lost the review. The confusion was compounded when umpire Dharmasena gave an indication to the third umpire of a review when he had given him out. However, England had no reviews and it only increased his anger. Roy walked off for 85 and there were massive boos heard around the stadium.
However, the dismissal did not affect England and Joe Root and Eoin Morgan ensured England crossed the line in a canter to set off rapturous celebrations in Edgbaston. The teams that defeated India in this tournament have qualified for the final. The teams that finished in the top two - India and Australia - are out of the tournament while the bottom two are in the final. In more ways than one, the final on July 14 will truly be historic.