Black Caps to face England in World Cup final

Author
NZ Herald / AP,
Section
Cricket,
Publish Date
Friday, 12 July 2019, 9:11AM
England's captain Eoin Morgan, left, celebrates with teammate Joe Root after winning the Cricket World Cup semi-final match between Australia and England at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Photo / AP
England's captain Eoin Morgan, left, celebrates with teammate Joe Root after winning the Cricket World Cup semi-final match between Australia and England at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Photo / AP

England will play the Black Caps in Cricket World Cup final at Lord's.

The tournament hosts reached its first finale in 27 years by trouncing defending champion Australia by eight wickets, ensuring there will be a first-time winner of the sport's biggest prize.

Jason Roy smashed three sixes in a row in his box-office knock of 85 off 65 balls, helping England reach its target of 224 in 32.1 overs.

Australia failed to win a World Cup semifinal for the first time in eight attempts, unable to defend a total of 223 that it limped to after being reduced to 14-3 after winning the toss.

England, the tournament host, will play New Zealand in the final at Lord's on Sunday. It will be England's fourth World Cup final, and New Zealand's second — and neither team has won it.

Showing no nerves chasing a competitive but hardly formidable target, the English played the same attacking cricket they have produced over the last four years which has taken them to the top of the one-day international rankings.

Roy and fellow opener Jonny Bairstow put on a century stand in the fourth straight match they have played together, sending Australia's bowlers to all parts of Edgbaston.

Chris Woakes of England celebrates taking the wicket of David Warner of Australia during the Semi-Final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Photo / AP
Chris Woakes of England celebrates taking the wicket of David Warner of Australia during the Semi-Final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Photo / AP

Roy struck five sixes — three consecutively off Steve Smith's only over — and nine fours before being given out caught behind down the legside even though he didn't touch the ball.

Bairstow had already been dismissed by then for 34, leaving Eoin Morgan (45) and Joe Root (49) to see England home. Morgan flat-batted a four to make it 226-2 and seal victory with rain arriving over the Birmingham ground. Fireworks greeted the win.

Australia was soundly beaten by its archrival, outplayed in every aspect. The only positive was paceman Mitchell Starc taking one wicket to move to 27 for the tournament, a record for a single edition of the World Cup.

Smith underpinned Australia's innings that was wobbling at 14-3 after 6.1 overs following the loss of captain Aaron Finch to a golden duck off the seventh ball and opener David Warner — the team's top scorer in this tournament with 647 runs — for nine.

England's captain Eoin Morgan, left, celebrates with teammate Joe Root after winning the Cricket World Cup semi-final match between Australia and England at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Photo / AP

The departure of World Cup debutant Peter Handscomb for four brought together Smith and Alex Carey, who repaired the early damage with a fourth-wicket stand of 103. Carey soldiered on after being struck on the helmet by a rising delivery from Archer on four, playing the rest of his innings with his head bandaged and blood spilling from his chin.

Adil Rashid cleaned up Australia's middle order with the wickets of Carey and Marcus Stoinis (0) in the same over and then Pat Cummins.

Australia's captain Aaron Finch during the Cricket World Cup semi-final match between Australia and England at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England. Photo / APAustralia's captain Aaron Finch during the Cricket World Cup semi-final match between Australia and England at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England. Photo / AP

Smith moved in sight of his century, only to be run out by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler at the non-striker's end as he ran a single.

Australia passed 200 but it wasn't enough keep its winning streak in semifinals going.

England captain Eoin Morgan has demanded his team maintain the attacking, ultra-positive outlook it has adopted in soaring to the top of the ODI rankings over the past World Cup cycle, and his players didn't let him down in what, for some, was the biggest game of their lives.

"We had a bit of a day out," Morgan said. "It's cool when it happens like that." It was almost the perfect day for England after losing the toss, with Australia soundly beaten in every aspect."All in all," Australia captain Aaron Finch said, "we were totally outplayed."