The daily tournament preview charges down the wicket with Cricket World Cup tips for a mouth-watering semi-final showdown between old foes Australia and England.
19:30 (AEST), Thu 11th Jul @ Edgbaston, Birmingham
History: Played 148: Australia 82 V England 61 (2 Ties, 2 No Results)
Last meeting: June 25, 2018: Australia d England by 64 runs at Lord’s
Final Thoughts: Australia’s shock loss in their final round-robin game pitches them into a monster Cricket World Cup semi against fierce rivals England.
The host nation are in their first semi-final since 1992. Defending champs Australia are into the last four for the sixth time in seven World Cups, winning four of the last five tournaments.
Australia won their grudge match with England at Lord’s a fortnight ago by 64 runs. Aaron Finch (100 from 116) underpinned Australia’s 7/285, while Ben Stokes (89 from 115) played a lone hand for England. Mitchell Starc (4/43) and Jason Behrendorff (5/44) were on fire with the ball.
Australia subsequently hammered NZ by 86 runs, with Starc taking a five-for. But they fell 10 runs short of South Africa despite David Warner’s 122, costing them top spot.
Having lost their previous game to Sri Lanka, the defeat to Australia put England under massive pressure. But they responded with clutch wins over fellow semi-finalists India (31 runs) and New Zealand (119 runs).
Opener Jonny Bairstow smashed a century in each victory.
Starc has been the tournament’s standout bowler with 26 wickets. Jofra Archer (17) has led England’s attack.
Warner (638 at 79.75) is second in the Cricket World Cup’s run charts, with Finch (507 at 56.33) not far behind. Skipper Joe Root (500 at 62.50) has been England’s most consistent batsman.
England aim to broke World Cup hoodoo
Australia’s round-robin victory broke England’s six-match ODI winning streak in the rivalry. England have still won 12 of the last 15 between the archrivals. The most recent series finished a year ago yesterday, with the under-strength Aussies subjected to a 5-0 cleansweep in England.
But England haven’t beaten Australia at a Cricket World Cup since 1992. England boast a 6-3 record against Australia at Edgbaston, winning the last three.
Usman Khawaja has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament, while Marcus Stonis is in doubt for the semi. Meanwhile, the likes of Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell are yet to truly fire. England arguably boast the edge batting-wise – Root, Bairstow, Stokes and Jason Roy have had superb campaigns.
But Starc’s brilliance and Australia’s big-match experience are the key reasons they again look outstanding underdog value against perennial underachievers England.