England bowl Australia out for 223 in World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston, as Steve Smith makes 85

England have been set 224 to reach their first World Cup final since 1992 after a fine all-round bowling performance at Edgbaston, as Steve Smith made an important 85.


After losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, England enjoyed a sensational start to proceedings at a rocking Edgbaston as they reduced Australia to 14-3 in 6.1 overs.

Jofra Archer’s in-swinging first delivery pinned Aaron Finch flush on the front pad, with a review confirming the umpire’s original decision to raise his finger, as the visitors’ captain became the first Australian to be dismissed for a golden duck in a World Cup match.

A cacophony of boos welcomed Smith to the crease but the boisterous crowd were soon cheering again as home favourite Chris Woakes followed up being smoked back over his head for a one-bounce four by David Warner (9) by squaring up the opener and seeing the ball take the shoulder of the bat and into Jonny Bairstow’s hands at first slip.

Peter Handscomb’s (4) World Cup debut lasted just 12 balls as Woakes got the ball to shape back in and clatter into the batsman’s middle stump – the No 4’s lack of foot movement costing him.

The five-time World champions were unable to cope with the searing spell of swing and seam bowling Archer and Woakes were producing, pitching the perfect lines and lengths in a hostile opening half-an-hour of play.

A short ball from Archer struck new man Alex Carey on the helmet and the Australian wicketkeeper had the presence of mind to catch his lid as it flew towards the stumps with the fiery delivery drawing blood from his chin.

Despite requiring running repairs to his face, Carey slowly began the rebuilding job with Smith as the pair put on a 103-run fourth-wicket stand off 127 balls as England pushed to break the burgeoning partnership.

Spinner Adil Rashid’s fifth over proved to be another turning point in the innings, as Carey skipped down the field looking for a boundary to bring up his half-century but picked out midwicket to depart for 46.

And, a googly from the leg-spinner struck Marcus Stoinis (0) on the knee roll and following a lengthy appeal, Kumar Dharmasena eventually raised his finger to the delight of the spectators.

Even though Smith looked nervy at the starts of his innings, making just seven off his first 34 balls, the No.3 brought up a 72-ball fifty – met by more boos than cheers from the partisan crowd.

The dangerous Glenn Maxwell smashed the first six of the innings, flaying a full toss over long-on but ‘The Big Show’s’ innings proved brief as a knuckle ball from Archer saw the Australian batsman caught at short cover for 22 off 23 balls.

Rashid’s final over accounted for Pat Cummins (0), with Joe Root taking a fine low catch at first slip but a 51-run eighth wicket partnership between Smith and Mitchell Starc took the visitors past 200.

But, England took two wickets in two balls as a brilliant direct hit from wicketkeeper Jos Buttler at the non-striker’s end ran out Smith for a tournament-best 85 before Starc (29) nicked Woakes’ next delivery behind.

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