Aussies hammer England

Mitchell Starc shared nine wickets as the reigning champions thumped England by 64 runs at Lord’s yesterday to book their place in the semi-finals of the World Cup. Finch made exactly 100 in a total of 285-7 before England slumped to 221 all out with 32 balls left. The recalled Behrendorff took 5-44 -- his first five-wicket haul in a one-day international -- while Starc became the leading bowler at the tournament with 19 scalps thanks to a haul of 4-43. For England, who entered the showpiece event as the top-ranked side in ODI cricket, this was a second straight defeat after their shock 20-run loss to Sri Lanka.

The host nation, bidding to win a first World Cup title, can still qualify for the semi-finals but they are likely to need to beat at least one of India and New Zealand in their remaining two group games. “There are teams that you have confidence playing against but I have had plenty of low scores against England as well,” said man-of-the-match Finch. “It was nipping around first thing. We were as tight as we could be and then took advantage of any width.”

England’s reply saw them lose a wicket off just the second ball of their chase, with the struggling James Vince -- only playing because Jason Roy was out with a hamstring injury -- bowled by a Behrendorff inswinger. Starc then took two wickets in nine balls. Test skipper Joe Root was plumb lbw to an inswinger for eight before England captain Eoin Morgan (four) fell into a hooking trap when a top edge was held safely by Pat Cummins at fine leg.

Australia, who had lost 10 of their previous 11 ODIS against England, were in complete charge with the hosts now 26-3. England has surged to the top of the ODI rankings on the back of aggressive run-scoring but the worry for Morgan’s men is that too many of their top-order appear to know only one way to bat.

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