England cruised to final beating Australia by 8 wickets

Sports Desk, Barta24.com
England beat Australia by 8 wickets wickets to reach final in ICC World Cup final./Photo: Collected

England beat Australia by 8 wickets wickets to reach final in ICC World Cup final./Photo: Collected

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Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid each took three wickets as England seized control of their World Cup semi-final against Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday, bowling out the defending champions for 223.

Woakes struck twice early on as Australia slumped to 14-3 after winning the toss in Birmingham but Steve Smith led the recovery for Australia with 85 and Alex Carey made 46.

The hope for Australia is that an attack led by left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc, the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 26 scalps, can defend a seemingly low total.

Australia are bidding for a sixth World Cup title, having won four of the past five editions.

Australia captain Finch, who won the toss, fell for a golden duck when he was lbw to fast bowler Jofra Archer's opening delivery at the start of the second over.

Finch, who made exactly 100 in Australia's 64-run group-stage win over England, reviewed but replays upheld Sri Lanka umpire Kumar Dharmasena's original decision.

Left-hander Warner, who has scored more than 600 runs at the 2019 World Cup, then drove Woakes back over his head for four.

But next ball Woakes, on his Warwickshire home ground, produced a rising delivery that Warner, on nine, could only fend to Jonny Bairstow at first slip to leave Australia 10-2 inside three overs.

Warner, who walked out to boos because of his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year, returned to even louder jeers mixed in with those for incoming batsman Steve Smith, who was also given a 12-month ban for his part in the incident.

Peter Handscomb (4) was the next to follow as Woakes burst through his defences and cleaned him up.

Earlier, Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bat first.

England haven't won a knockout World Cup game since 1992, but the world's No.1 ranked ODI side will be confident of chasing down 224 on a fast, bouncy Edgbaston surface.