Jason Roy plays a shot
England surged into their first World Cup final for 27 years with a sensational eight-wicket demolition of Australia at Edgbaston yesterday.
The hosts will have the chance to lift the trophy for the first time when they meet New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.
It was built on a riotous opening seven overs, when Australia were reduced to 14 for three by the new-ball brilliance of Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer.
Steve Smith, so often England’s nemesis, held Australia together with 85, helping them to a total of 223 that at least gave them something to bowl at.
But home nerves over the menacing presence of Mitchell Starc were allayed by a prolific opening partnership Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, who added 124 for the first wicket.
Roy crashed 85 before Joe Root and Eoin Morgan took England to their target with 17.5 overs to spare.
Earlier, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid each took three wickets as Australia were bowled out for 223. Woakes struck twice early on as Australia slumped to 14 for three but Steve Smith led the recovery for Australia with 85 and Alex Carey made 46.
Australia’s prolific opening pair of David Warner and Aaron Finch, as well as Peter Handscomb, were all back in the pavilion by the seventh over.
Smith and Carey steadied the innings with a fourth-wicket stand of 103 before leg-spinner Adil Rashid (3-54) struck twice in five balls. Australia wicket-keeper Carey had his helmet knocked off by a Jofra Archer bouncer and required several minutes of on-field treatment.
With his head swathed in a bandage, Carey resumed his innings but in sight of a fifty he hoisted Rashid straight to substitute fielder James Vince at deep mid-wicket.
Four balls later, Australia were 118 for five when all-rounder Marcus Stoinis was lbw for a duck to Rashid’s googly.
The dangerous Glenn Maxwell then holed out to England Captain Eoin Morgan off Archer for 22 and Pat Cummins was caught by Joe Root to give Rashid another victim.
Smith received good support from Starc (29) in an eighth-wicket stand of 51 but, in sight of a hundred, he was run out by wicket-keeper Jos Buttler’s direct hit.
Next ball, Starc was caught behind off Woakes and the innings ended with an over to spare when Mark Wood bowled Jason Behrendorff. (Agencies)