England Defeat Australia to Advance to 2019 Cricket World Cup Final

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2019

England's captain Eoin Morgan (R) and England's Joe Root celebrate victory at close of play during the 2019 Cricket World Cup second semi-final between England and Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham, central England,  on July 11, 2019. - England beat Australia by 8 wickets. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

England crushed Australia by eight wickets on Thursday to reach the 2019 Cricket World Cup final.

The English bowling attack was ruthless, with Australia all out for 223 in the opening innings.

The hosts took just 32 overs to reach their target, and they will play New Zealand in the final on Sunday.

Australia batted first and were immediately in trouble in the second over when Jofra Archer trapped opener Aaron Finch lbw for a duck.

David Warner followed his team-mate out in the next over after scoring just nine, with Jonny Bairstow taking the catch from Chris Woakes' delivery.

Steve Smith entered to steady the ship for the Aussies. The 30-year-old was stubborn at the crease, and he remained until late in the innings. Smith made 85, with an excellent run out by Jos Buttler ending his knock.

Alex Carey's 46 helped Australia avoid a total collapse. However, the tail failed to wag, and Adil Rashid, Mark Wood and Woakes bowled excellent spells at the death to limit the score.

England opening batsmen Jason Roy and Bairstow quickly got down to business, combining for 124 before Mitchell Starc dismissed the latter.

Bairstow hit 34 off 43 balls, but Starc's delivery was too good and the umpire called lbw. 

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 11:  Jason Roy of England reacts after being given out caught behind despite not connecting with the ball, as Umpires, Marais Erasmus and Kumar Dharmasena usher him from the field during the Semi-Final match of the ICC Cricket W
David Rogers/Getty Images

There was controversy when Roy was given out on 85. The umpire said the batsman had clipped Carey's delivery to Pat Cummins, but replays showed the Englishman had not touched the ball. England had used their video review unsuccessfully against Bairstow's dismissal, and Roy was clearly upset by his premature exit.

However, England remained calm and composed, with Joe Root and Eoin Morgan taking over the responsibility of completing the win.

The batsmen scored 49 and 45, respectively, and the ruthless performances of England's top players was the difference between the sides.

It was a disappointing end to Australia's tournament, but they were beaten by the more clinical team at Edgbaston.

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