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Australia book World Cup semi-final spot


Australia book World Cup semi-final spot

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LONDON – Australia ruthlessly demolished England by 64 runs at Lord’s on Tuesday to march into the Cricket World Cup semi-finals and put the hosts in serious danger of failing to make the last four.

Captain Aaron Finch continued his fine form with a knock of 100 to lead Australia to 285 for seven after being put in to bat on a murky morning at the home of cricket.

England quickly collapsed to 26 for three and although Ben Stokes defied a calf injury to score a brave 89, England never seriously threatened to reach their target as Jason Behrendorff took five wickets and they were bowled out for 221 in the 45th over.

Australia’s sixth win in seven games took the defending champions into the semi-finals while England, the pre-tournament favourites, have now lost three matches and may need to beat India and New Zealand to make the knockout stages.

“You don’t win the tournament if you don’t reach the semis. That’s the first bit ticked off,” said man-of-the-match Finch.

“England are a standout side, they are a team that can take you apart at stages. We found ways to keep getting wickets. Behrendorff bowled beautifully.”

Summarised scores:

Australia 285-7 (Aaron Finch 100, David warner 53, Steve Smith 38, Alex Carey 38 n.o., Usman Khawaja 23, Glenn Maxwell 12; Chris Woakes 2-46). England 221 in 44.4 overs (Ben Stokes 89, Jonny Bairstow 27, Chris Woakes 26, Adil Rashid 25; Jason Behrendorff 5-44, Mitchell Starc 4-43). Australia won by 64 runs.