2019 Cricket World Cup – Australia v England: An incomplete yet resounding victory

Australia have worked out their bowling line up.

A blistering performance at Lord’s against England has solidified Australia’s position in the semi-final stage of the World Cup. But they were sure made to work for it.


In gloomy conditions and a pitch as green as Wimbledon, Finch and his Aussies were sent in to bat against the torrid slope that Lord’s is famous for. With Woakes and Archer sending down some whirlwind deliveries, Finch and Warner had their work cut out for them. Luckily, England faltered – their bowling was initially too short, constantly beating the bat but never challenging the edge. Archer wasn’t entirely fit and it began to show as the golden Aussie openers saw off an extended spell from Woakes to then take charge.


Blasting another century opening stand, the pair had done a job similar to Gilchrist and Hayden in the 2003 Cup final in South Africa. Warner’s impressive innings ended against spin again, as his lack of dancing down the pitch to Ali eventually meant he sat back on the wrong ball, popping up a simple catch to Root. Khawaja strolled in at three instead of Smith – an interesting choice considering the right-hander had a love affair with Lord’s including his masterful double ton in the 2015 Ashes. The classy left-hander began to get going but then was cleaned up by some aggressive pace bowling from Stokes. His roar of passion encapsulated England’s desperation to win this pivotal clash against two old foes.


Because of the duration of the opening partnership, Smith arrived not long before the 40th over and was placed in a difficult position. On a dodgy pitch against some quality bowlers, the champion had to get going quickly to ensure the Aussies posted a handy total. Finch was set to help, capitalising on a misfield to reach another ton. But the ball after he fell, and Australia’s chink of not finishing off innings well sprang to mind. Maxwell tried to fight fire with fire, blasting Archer for a 6 and a 4. But the next over he fell to the fired up Wood, who had returned from a dismal first spell to send down some withering deliveries. His spell was crucial in containing Australia to under 300.


From then on, wickets fell regularly. Stoinis and Smith had a horrid mix-up that resulted in the former walking off. Smith tried to up the ante against Woakes but couldn’t time his shot right, symptomatic of his innings and the difficult position he had been put in. Cumins nicked off early to show he is currently a shade of his batting exploits from the Australian summer.


But Carey held strong, proving his class with the bat to quickly turn the strike over. Upon reaching the penultimate overs, he took full control. Stepping to the legside and constantly slapping the ball over the covers, he took 10 runs off the last 3 Stokes balls to give Australia some momentum at the break. 285 was still a mighty total, but it could’ve and should’ve been more.


The game was full of surprises.


Coming out to chase Australia’s total, Bairstow and Vince were faced with a different left-arm bowler sending down the first over. Behrendorff has long been a handy customer in the opening overs of the BBL, and he showed why he was picked for this match. His second ball wicket of Vince was a jaffer, swinging in to knock over the middle stump. This only inspired Starc, who stopped the in-form Root in his tracks with another wonderful in-swinging full ball to trap the English maestro plumb in front. Unlike England’s early mishaps, the Aussies pitched the ball up perfectly and allowed their two finest swing bowlers to make the most of it.


Morgan played a Maxwell innings, looking to counter-attack despite the required run rate being not too high and the innings only in its fourth over. The chances were always low of it coming off, and the well-renowned Australian bouncer claimed his wicket. This wonderful start for the Australians meant their fielding was elevated to another level. There were no hints of misfields or dropped catches. Cummins pulled down another well-judged high catch to remove a horrible Bairstow pull shot off Behrendorff. The West Aussie was proving to be worth his weight in gold.


Stokes remained steady, hitting some breath-taking shots full of audacity while also defending astutely. The fire in his belly was obvious – he wasn’t going down without a fight. Buttler appeared to be a worthy partner, only for his building innings to be cut short by a wonderful boundary catch from Khawaja off Stoinis.


Stokes motored along. Woakes was promoted ahead of Ali and ticked it along steadily. Stokes neared his century, yet fell to one of the best balls of the tournament. Starc produced a magical in-swinging yorker that ruined the stumps. Stokes dropped and kicked his bat with dismay. Gone for 89, the match was now out of England’s grasp.


From then on, wickets fell regularly. Woakes struggled without his dominant partner. Behrendorff then came back to clean him up along with Ali and Archer. Starc shot to the top of the tournament wicket takers with the wicket of Rashid, giving him four in another attacking performance full of class.


The result has profound effects. England now have to fight tooth and nail to make fourth position in a tournament they were expected to win. Australia, after their prior poor form in one-day cricket, are the first team through to the semi-final stage. Both have key matches against heavyweights to decipher where they shall stand come the end of the tournament.



Australia – 7/ 285 (50 overs)

Finch 100 (116 balls)                                                                         Woakes 2/ 46 (10 overs)

Warner 53 (61)                                                                                  Stokes 1/ 29 (6)

Carey 38 not out (27)                                                                        Ali 1/ 42 (6)


England – 221 all out (44.4)

Stokes 89 (115)                                                                                  Behrendorff 5/ 44 (10)

Bairstow 27 (39)                                                                                Starc 4/ 43 (8.4)

Woakes 26 (34)                                                                                  Stoinis 1/ 29 (7)



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  1. Sean, I was in London when this tournament started and the Poms were very confident and cocky about their prospects. I suggested that they were on a hiding to nothing, but the locals weren’t to be dissuaded. They’re not out of it yet but the pressure is building slowly but surely. Last night’s results throw things up in the air even more. And if Pakistan can make the last four, anything could happen! The pleasant surprise has been the Australians who weren’t rated too highly at all and yet they now top the standings. I’m still not convinced by them as they seem to be up to 10 overs short of a convincing last bowler or combination of bowlers, and their middle order is a bit underwhelming/inconsistent/fragile. Let’s hope they surprise us.

  2. Yes the Aussies have surprised many of us, especially our openers with Finch back in form. Unfortunately this often leaves the middle men having to attack before getting their eye in. I was particularly pleaded to see Marshmellow dropped. Most of our batsmen get themselves out by playing reckless shots when attempting to up the anti, especially the Big Show. CAREY is a beauty and Starc BOWLING AT THE STUMPS has set the cat amongst the pigeons.

    Now for a bit of humour. An old boss of mine in the RBA, Toby Neale would, in all seriousness, say about the cricket, “There’s only two things in life I detest – racial prejudice and Poms”..

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