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IT IS ALL OVER! And after 9969 days of waiting, England is in the final of the World Cup, they beat the defending champion Australia with 8 wickets.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2nd semifinal of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between Australia and England in Edgbaston, Birmingham to be played today.
They entered the tournament as favorites, but the bad show of England in the middle of the group stage saw them almost excluded from the 2019 World Cup. But the hosts got their act well and won their last two games against India and New Zealand to to qualify for the semifinal of the showpiece. And now they are ready to take on arch-rivals Australia at Edgbaston's Cricket Town.
A reviving Australian outfit – led by Aaron Finch – has taken the flagship by storm and has once again demonstrated an affinity for the challenge on the big stage. The first team to qualify for the knockouts, Australia lost their last group match against South Africa, putting them in second place on the points table, otherwise it seemed that they would finish as leaders after the group stage.
However, this will serve as a motivation for the Australians, because they are keen to show the world that the fiasco of the sandpaper gate is a thing of the past and this team is just as good as those who won the flagship five times over the years.
For the English it is more about staying true to the label of favorites and not crumbling under the pressure of expectations. They have a talented bunch of players, but consistency was a concern for them in this tournament. However, with Jason Roy back in the head of the inning, things look back in control for the hosts.
Interestingly, the form of hard-working batsman Jos Buttler would certainly be a concern for the English, since he still has to light up the tournament. Yes, he has scored a century, but the swashbuckling batsman is expected to do much more than just score 253 points. Ben Stokes, on the other hand, was brilliant to get lower in the order. He scored 381 points with four fifties.
But the stars of the show are Test skipper Joe Root and opener Jonny Bairstow. While Root is the highest scorer in the team with 500 runs (two centuries and fifty-three), Bairstow has managed to score 462 runs with two hundred and fifty-two.
The bowling has also looked good with Jofra Archer, who caught 17 wickets and Mark Wood 16. But a concern would be the shape of the front line spinner Adil Rashid. With only 8 wickets from nine games, he definitely has to box.
Regarding the Aussies, opener David Warner and skipper Finch have led from the front into the batting department. While Warner has 638 runs with three hundred and fifty-three, Finch has 507 runs with two hundred and fifty-two.
Mitchell Starc was also one of the best cricket players in the world in the bowling department. And although he seemed to get a bit off the World Cup, he now has 26 wickets in his name. And Pat Cummins played the perfect second violin with 13 wickets. Not to forget the deliveries of the left arm of Jason Behrendorff.
All in all, it will be a battle of nerves rather than talent, because only those who have the opportunity to enjoy the pressure on the big stage will perform.
England: James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson