BIRMINGHAM: England snuffed out Australia’s title defence and stormed into the Cricket World Cup final with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over the five-times champions in the second semi-final on Thursday.
Eoin Morgan’s men skittled out Australia for 223 before romping to their target in 32.1 overs in a lop-sided battle between the hosts and the holders at Edgbaston.
Jason Roy (85) and Jonny Bairstow (34) made the chase look like a cakewalk with their fourth successive century opening partnership.
Joe Root (49 not out) and Morgan (45 not out) completed the formalities for England who avenged their group-stage defeat by Australia at a venue where they had won 10 previous matches across all formats.
England, who last made the final in 1992 when they lost to Pakistan, will meet 2015 runners-up New Zealand on Sunday at Lord’s where new champions will be crowned.
“Having beaten India at this ground, we’d have come here with similar confidence, taken the momentum from the group stages,” Morgan said.
“We talk about getting better and better, we set the tone from ball one and got on top.”
“Looking back to where we were in 2015, it’s a dramatic improvement. Everyone in the dressing-room can take credit. We want to make the most of the opportunity.”
Earlier, Aaron Finch’s decision to bat appeared to backfire with Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer blowing away the Australian top order.
Archer struck with his first delivery to dismiss Finch and later left Alex Carey with a bloodied chin which needed stitches.
By then, the setback had snowballed into a full-blown crisis for Australia.
Woakes (3-20) removed David Warner, Australia’s leading scorer in the tournament, for nine and bowled Peter Handscomb who was making his World Cup debut as replacement for the injured Usman Khawaja.
Archer oozed hostility at the other end, hitting a hopping Carey on the grill of his helmet and dislodging it from his head.