Impressive England smash Australia to set up World Cup final against New Zealand

Assistant Producer
Yahoo Sport UK

England were clinical in their hammering of their old rivals as they beat Australia by eight wickets to book their place in the Cricket World Cup final.

The tournament hosts had the visitors 14-3 early on before Steve Smith and Alex Carey helped the Aussies rebuild.

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Carey made 46 after having his helmet knocked off by Jofra Archer, while Smith continued his crafted innings before being run out for 85 in the last three overs.

They were all out for 223 after some fine bowling from England. Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes took three wickets each, while Archer took two.

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England came out all guns blazing with the bat too. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow didn’t wait around in their pursuit of 224, smashing their way to 95 at the first drinks break after 15 overs.

Roy pummelled Smith for three successive sixes before Bairstow was out lbw for 34, as Mitchell Starc took a record 27th World Cup Wicket. England 124-1.

Bairstow used up England’s review after he was given out, a review which Roy would have wanted to use himself after he was given out caught behind off his glove for 85. Replays showed he never touched it and England fell to 147-2.

The run rate slowed, but Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan guided England to victory. Root with an unbeaten 49 and Morgan with 45 not out.

England will play New Zealand in the final at Lord’s on Sunday after the Kiwis stunned India on Wednesday.

A dejected Roy leaving the field (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)
A dejected Roy leaving the field (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

Chasing has proved difficult at the tournament so it seemed advantage Australia when Aaron Finch won the toss and chose to bat first.

However, England got off to a flying start at Edgbaston with Jofra Archer striking with his very first ball. Visiting skipper Aaron Finch gone for a golden duck.

Finch's replacement at the crease was Steve Smith and the sight of him uniting with David Warner raised the roof inside the stadium, with jeers pouring down on the pair.

Much to the delight of the home crowd Chris Woakes had Warner caught at first slip before Australia fell to 14-3 after the 30-year-old cleaned up Peter Handscomb.

Alex Carey was next in and found life uncomfortable early on, Archer knocking his helmet off and cutting his chin with a sharp bouncer on his fifth ball at the crease.

Carey battling on after having his helmet nocked off by Archer (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
Carey battling on after having his helmet nocked off by Archer (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Smith and Carey dug in and put on a 103 run partnership in a bid to get themselves back in to the match.

It was Adil Rashid that made the break through, Carey out for 46 caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary leaving Australia 117-4.

They were 118-5 just four balls later as Rashid struck once more. Marcus Stoinis was sent in ahead of Glenn Maxwell and was pinned lbw for none.

Smith continued to anchor the Australian Innings while Maxwell chipped in with 22 before he was caught out by an Archer slower ball.

Pat Cummins was out for six after nicking one off of Rashid leaving the Aussies 166-7, and the onus solely on their former captain, Smith.

Smith celebrates his half century (Photo by Gareth Copley-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)
Smith celebrates his half century (Photo by Gareth Copley-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

However, Mitchell Starc (29) made a 51-run stand alongside Smith, before the latter’s patient and crucial innings came to an end, trying to steal a quick single some quick work from Jos Butler saw him run out for 85 with a direct hit.

Starc was caught behind the very next ball before Australia were all out for 223 with an over remaining, Jason Behrendorff the last wicket to fall.

With England needing 224 to book their place in the World Cup final it was Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow who opened up once again, and much like they did with the ball, England got off to a flying start with the bat.

Roy flicking Starc off his legs for six and also smashing Nathan Lyon’s first ball back over his head for a maximum. Australia seemed to have no answer for either of the pair as they bought up their 50 partnership after the first ten overs.

Roy smashing his second six of the innings (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Roy smashing his second six of the innings (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Despite an injury to his ankle, Bairstow and Roy continued to hammer the Australian bowling attack and the crowd in Birmingham were loving it.

Roy passed his half century before Smith was bought on to bowl, the Aussies trying anything break the opening partnership.

But Roy was utterly dismissive, bludgeoning him for three successive sixes, the crowd roaring their approval.

The first six over long-on brought up the 100-run stand between the Surrey man and Bairstow.

The third maximum - a monstrous hit to the same area - was the first to land in the top tier at the Pavilion End in a competitive match at Edgbaston.

It was Starc who came back on to make the breakthrough, trapping Bairstow lbw for 34. England 124-1 after the 29-year-old took his 27th wicket of the tournament, which saw him overtake Glenn McGrath's record of 26 in a World Cup.

Roy furious after being given out caught behind (Photo by Gareth Copley-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)
Roy furious after being given out caught behind (Photo by Gareth Copley-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Roy was given out in controversial circumstances, umpire Kumar Dharmasena raising his finger after Cummins' bouncer passed Roy down the leg-side and was pouched by Carey.

Roy attempted a review and Dharmasena signalled for one, only for Australia to correctly point out England did not have one left, Bairstow having burned it moments earlier.

Roy remonstrated with both Dharmasena and his colleague Marais Erasmus before slowly trudging off the pitch, potentially risking the wrath of the International Cricket Council for his conduct after being given out.

It brought an unfortunate end to a sparkling 85 from 65 balls, a knock containing nine fours and five sixes.

Joe Root and Eoin Morgan safely guided England to victory by eight wickets with 107 balls to spare.

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