Cricket World Cup 2019: Clinical Australia qualify for semis while England's campaign falls apart at Lord's

Rory Dollard 25/06/2019
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Jason Behrendorff (l) picked up five wickets while Mitchell Starc snared four at Lord's.

England’s faltering World Cup campaign veered further off track as old rivals Australia booked their place in the semi-finals with a 64-run victory at Lord’s.

After misadventures against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, England ran aground when chasing for the third time in the tournament, dismissed for an error-strewn 221.

With India and New Zealand still to play, there is now minimal leeway if the world’s number one side are to reach the semi-finals of their own competition.

Australia captain Aaron Finch paved the way for his side’s win, weathering a tricky start after being sent in and making exactly 100, his second of the World Cup. Yet England rallied well with the ball, dragging the score back from 173 for one in the 32nd over to a more modest 285-7.

That still proved too much, though, Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc splitting the wickets as England’s top order limped to 53-4.

The left-arm pair finished with nine wickets between them, including Behrendorff’s maiden five-for.

Just as he did in a losing cause against Sri Lanka Ben Stokes stood tallest, battling apparent leg cramps on his way to a bullish 89, but he received precious little support as a much-vaunted batting line-up again fell short.

As anticipated Steve Smith and David Warner were booed to and from the crease on their first return to the home of cricket since year-long bans for ball-tampering, but that proved little more than a sideshow on a day that cranked up the pressure on Eoin Morgan’s men.

England skipper Morgan admitted his team were outplayed by a better outfit.

“We were outplayed,” Morgan said. “The wicket was soft when we started, so batting would have been a horrific decision. They dominated until the 25th but to restrict them to 280 was a good effort. But to be 20 for three pegged us back considerably.”

Morgan knows England need to beat India and New Zealand to qualify for the semis.

“Given the circumstances it’s not hugely disappointed, our fate is in our own hands. Everything we need to turn around is quite simple.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Gallery: Ed Sheeran and Gareth Southgate among star names at England v Australia CWC 2019 clash at Lord's

The England-Australia clash at the 2019 World Cup had some high-profile attendees on Tuesday.

The Lord’s ground in London saw some top names face off on the field and some even bigger names watch the action unfold in the stands.

Singer Ed Sheeran, England football manager Gareth Southgate and actor Damien Lewis were among those who watched the critical match.

The match was crucial not only for the chances of both teams in the ongoing World Cup but also for the subsequent Ashes series that starts after the conclusion of the tournament.

Images courtesy Getty Images.

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Cricket World Cup 2019: Mohammad Amir carries Pakistan hopes in must-win clash v New Zealand

Waseem Ahmed 25/06/2019
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Pakistan's Mohammad Amir (r) has been among the top wicket-takers.

Pakistan simply have to win their remaining three 2019 World Cup matches to have any hope of qualifying for the semi-finals, with England’s earlier slip-up against Sri Lanka opening up the tournament.

On paper, it seems a straightforward proposition but it will be anything but that on Wednesday when the Men in Green take on unbeaten New Zealand in Birmingham.

After a comprehensive loss to India, Pakistan struck back with a thumping win over South Africa. However, their job will only get tougher against Kane Williamson’s Kiwis who will make it to the semis should they win.

MOHAMMAD AMIR v LOCKIE FERGUSON

New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson.

New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson.

We are seeing a rejuvenated Mohammad Amir at this tournament, who is among the leading wicket-takers after struggling to pick up a wicket for the whole of the 2018/19 season.

The swing and pace is back, which has forced the opposition to see out his new ball spell and go after other bowlers. It’s just that he hasn’t received consistent support from the other end. He will be raring to have a go against Kiwi openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro who were out for golden ducks in the previous match.

His battle against Williamson will decide the outcome of the match as the Kiwi skipper has gone from strength to strength, putting in scores of 40, 79*, 106* and 148. The Kiwis will be hoping that trend continues.

And while Pakistan will be relying on Amir to keep the experienced Kiwi batting line-up in check, the Blackcaps have a gun pacer in their own line-up to strike back with.

Lockie Ferguson has been firing on all cylinders so far, picking up 14 wickets from five games while being among the top three fastest bowlers of the tournament. His sizzling pace in the middle overs offer New Zealand unprecedented control and precision.

OPENING POWERPLAY

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood said it will be imperative to make an impact with the new ball in the opening powerplay.

“They are a very strong side and have won all their games,” Mahmood said.

“They’ve got match-winners in their side, so it’s going to be crucial for us to take wickets with the new ball. And when we bat, we need to get runs up front.

“If we can get our discipline right like last game – in batting, bowling and fielding – then we can beat any side. If we do the basics right, it’s just about us, not them.”

LIKELY XIs

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c and wk), Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi

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