Eng vs Aus semi-final match :-
Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bat on an Edgbaston wicket which had a tinge of green on it. David Warner got things rolling with a Sehwagesque start, a boundary off the first ball. Chris Woakes needed no second invitation and immediately corrected his length. In the next over of Eng vs Aus semi-final, Aaron Finch was trapped LBW off his first ball and the review showed three reds. Jofra Archer cranked up the pace, constantly bowling short and pushing the batsmen back. Woakes persisted with a back of a length line despite being hit for a boundary and managed to find extra bounce, which Warner could only guide to Bairstow’s hands.
Peter Handscomb, playing his first World Cup game, was castled by a beautiful in-swinger from Chris Woakes. Australia were struggling at 14/3 and needed Smith to bat deep. Alex Carey was pushed up to partner Smith and look for quick runs. The duo held vigil and scored at every possible opportunity, rescuing the collapse in a 103 run partnership. Early in his innings, Carey was hit on the jaw by an Archer bouncer and continued batting heroically, despite being heavily bandaged. Adil Rashid, who many had touted as being England’s only weak link, showed what he is capable of. He first made Carey pick out deep mid-wicket and four balls later, caught Stoinis LBW with a googly. Glenn Maxwell started brightly but failed to read a knuckle ball from Archer, top-edging it to Morgan at short cover. The English pacers were splendid at the death and prevented Steve Smith from teeing off. Smith was run-out to a brilliant direct hit from Jos Buttler for a well-made 85. Australia were 223 all out.
England’s openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow continued their scintillating form, racing to a 124 run partnership. They did not allow the Aussie bowlers to settle and did not curb their attacking intent. Bairstow was the first to leave, edging a cutter from Cummins to the keeper. Jason Roy tore into Steve Smith, launching him for 21 runs in a single over. Roy was unlucky to be given caught-behind, as replays indicated that there was no bat or glove involved. A peeved Roy was left helpless as Bairstow had used up the only review. Joe Root and Eoin Morgan looked in good touch, Morgan hitting the winning runs as England made it to their first final since 1992.
Analysis of Eng vs Aus semi-final:-
The English bowlers are experts in setting batsmen up according to their plans. They know where to bowl to which batsmen and execute their plans to perfection. David Warner struggles with extra bounce and Chris Woakes kept bowling short to Warner and this plan ultimately bore fruit. Jofra Archer’s pace is a valuable asset as he can make in-roads in the powerplay and get wickets in the middle overs with changes of pace. Adil Rashid bowled his googlies at the right length, inviting the batsmen forward and not allowing them time to play off the back foot. England look like a well-oiled machine in all departments and will look to give their all in the finals.
England will face New Zealand in the grand finale at Lord’s. One of these two teams will lay their hands on the trophy for the first time.
Also published on Medium.