CWC 2019: Eoin Morgan calls semi-final hero Chris Woakes one of the best with new ball

Sudhir Gupta 11/07/2019
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Chris Woakes rattled the Australian top order.

England captain Eoin Morgan called seamer Chris Woakes one of the best new-ball bowlers in the world as the hosts crushed Australia by eight wickets to book a place in the 2019 World Cup final.

Woakes dismissed opener David Warner – caught at slip – and then castled new man Peter Handscomb to leave Australia reeling at 14-3, a position from where the Aussies never recovered. Jason Roy then smashed a whirlwind 85 as England reached the 224-run target with 107 balls to spare.

After the win, an elated Morgan hailed the match-winning spell of 3-20 from Woakes.

“He is a cool customer, goes about his business day in day out. He’s one of the best in the first 10 overs over the last couple of years. Him and Jofra (Archer) were outstanding and the other guys backed that up, which allowed us to stay on top,” Morgan said in Birmingham.

Man-of-the-match Woakes revealed the players were anxious and he was pleased to have contributed to a historic run to the final.

“I am speechless actually. Incredible performance from the team, starting with the bowling and the way the guys finished was outstanding. There were some nerves, a few anxious people in the dressing room. The way we produced the goods showed how good we are,” Woakes said.

England lost all three previous World Cup finals –  against the West Indies in 1979, Australia in 1987 and Pakistan in 1992. Woakes said his team will try to block out thoughts of history and concentrate on the job.

“We have tried not to think about getting to the final, it hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said. “We were tipped as favourites so it was important to get to the semi-final in the first place and then to win this in this fashion against this Australia side on the best ground in the world is amazing.”

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CWC 2019: Live cricket will return to free-to-air TV in UK for first time in 14 years

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England’s World Cup final showdown with New Zealand will be screened free to air on Channel 4 and More 4, TV bosses have announced.

Channel 4 has struck a deal with Sky Sports, which holds the UK broadcast rights for the tournament, to also show the match at Lord’s and will combine it with its live coverage of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix.

Live cricket had not been available on free-to-air TV in the UK since England’s 2005 Ashes series win over Australia.

Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon said: “This is fantastic news for cricket fans and the nation. This Sunday is a massive day for British sport with England tantalisingly close to lifting the Cricket World Cup for the first time and Lewis Hamilton setting his sights on his seventh win at Silverstone – all live on Channel 4.”

Channel 4 will carry Sky’s coverage of the cricket from 9am, but the game will move to More 4 at 1.15pm as Formula 1 takes over before returning after the race.

Mahon added: “The big winners of this strong partnership between Channel 4 and Sky are sports fans and viewers who want to come together for these big sporting occasions.”

The match will also be broadcast on Sky 1 as well as the network’s dedicated World Cup channel and Sky Sports Main Event.

Sky UK and Ireland chief executive Stephen Van Rooyen said: “England in the final on home soil is a huge moment for sport in this country and we are proud to be the host broadcaster.

“Thanks to our strong relationship with Channel 4, we are partnering to make the game available to everyone, so the whole country can get behind England and be part of a special national sporting event.”

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Worrying signs for India after another defeat in knockouts of ICC tournament

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India have two World Cups and one World T20 title under their belt. And in the last few years, especially since the advent of IPL, the overall standards of Indian cricket have risen to the level where they consistently go deep in major tournaments.

But, since their 2011 World Cup triumph, a trend has emerged and it not something the Indian team will be particularly proud of – defeats in semi-finals and finals.

India’s next major moment on the world stage after their 2011 triumph was the 2014 World T20 final where they mustered just 130-4 batting first against Sri Lanka and deservedly lost the title clash.

The next year, they remained unbeaten en route to the World Cup semi-final clash against hosts Australia and were defeated by a handsome margin of 95 runs.

Then, in the 2016 World T20 at home, India lost to eventual winners West Indies in the semi-finals. In the 2017 Champions Trophy, India stormed into the title game only to be thumped by Pakistan by 180 runs.

And now, in the 2019 World Cup in England, they topped the league stage only to lose to New Zealand in the semi-final. That’s five straight defeats in semis or finals of world events.

There are two ways to look at the results – India are good enough to make it to the latter stages of the tournament consistently, or they don’t have that little extra required to win crucial matches.

While the overall record for the Indian team at major events is impressive, they have no trophies to show for their efforts. And like New Zealand before them who have advanced to the semi-finals or final in five of the previous seven World Cups without winning the crown, the Indian team is now in danger of being always a bridesmaid, not quite the bride.

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