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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