That’s it for our semi-final blog. It’s quite hard to make sense of what we watched today. England have marmalised Australia in a World Cup semi-final. You have to feel for this Australian team, especially their admirable captain Aaron Finch. It’s no consolation, not to a country of serial winners, but they have come so far in the last year.
England have travelled even further in the last four years. They are one win away from immortality. Trouble is, so are New Zealand. It’s all quite emotional – especially if you’re a member of Generation FFS, that hardy, masochistic, downright odd group of England supporters who have followed every ODI their team has
played in the last 27 years.
Thanks for your company and emails. I’ll leave you with a match report from Edgbaston, and there will be plenty of features on the site in the next few hours as well. Goodnight!
“Sunday is the perfect chance for England to complete the circle, isn’t it?” says David Hopkins. “This New England ODI started in that terrific series against NZ and now they can top it off against them. If they do win, should Morgan’s first words to Kane be ‘thank you’?”
I suppose Brendon McCullum, who was NZ captain back then, was Morgan’s biggest inspiration. It’s not just that series in 2015, either; that astonishing shellacking at the World Cup a few months earlier was the moment Morgan decided enough was enough.
“Evening Rob,” says Tom Hopkins. “Following on from Geoff’s commitment to get Marina Hyde on the OBO, can I request that if Rachel Gray’s date isn’t already the subject of Saturday’s Blind Date column that it be made so as a matter of urgency?”
Andrew Strauss, who started all this with the appointment of Trevor Bayliss and the retention of Eoin Morgan, is chatting on Sky
“I found myself getting quite emotional today. All we wanted four years ago was for England to go out and play a different style – we didn’t know where it would lead us but we thought that was England’s best chance of winning a World Cup. One more hurdle to overcome, and the only thing I’d ask of that team is: please play the same way. I know they will, and the pot of gold is there at the end of the rainbow.”
“Hi Rob,” says Will. “So you want euphoric + OTT, how about this… Seriously, where do you think that performance stands in British sporting history? Taking the importance of the occasion and the quality of the opposition into account, it must be top 10? Scenes after the third consecutive six off Smith, the sound off the bat was ungodly.”
I suppose it depends on how broadly you define sport.
It’s certainly one of the most brutal performances I’ve seen by an England team in a World Cup match.
You should have seen Phil Taylor and Adie Lewis in the 2013 darts World Cup!
“I have a date with an Australian this evening,” says Rachel Gray. “It was of course going to be following our victory over India, then I saw it as an opportunity to appear gracious after a close defeat, but I am utterly unequipped to deal with this. How do I get through the evening without being totally insufferable?”
You can’t, so the next best thing is to get so paggered on Victory Juice that you won’t remember being insufferable, which means you weren’t.
Shane Warne is feeling funky He says that, if Bairstow is injured, England should open with Jos Buttler on Sunday. You know, he might be onto something. He usually is. He also wants Roy and Bairstow to open in the Test team, which, despite being an affront to 142 years of English opening batsmanship, is an increasingly persuasive idea.
“Re: the earlier query about big-screen options for Sunday,” says David Hopkins. “I believe there’s a Fanzone with a big screen in Trafalgar Square. Good old Sadiq!”
It’s Coming Home department
“I’m trying not to even think it, never mind type it, Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “There’s so much to admire about both teams heading to Lord’s on Sunday, but you know the three little words to which I refer…”
Enough, McMahon. (NB: clip contains adult language.)
“Despite England’s surge to ODI dominance over the past few years, this is the most excited I’ve ever been about England’s cricket prospects,” writes Bex. “Likeable players who dominate with their play, whatever happens in the final we’ve got the best damn side we could hope for. And WTF what that amazing Roy helicopter shot? Move aside, Maxwell, we have Royball now!”
I’m still high on that innings. Nothing will ever top watching Kevin Pietersen playing one of his JFK innings, but Roy produced a helluvan homage.
Jonny Bairstow may be doubtful for the final. He has a groin problem and will be assessed over the next couple of days. I suppose if he might be doubtful that means he is doubtful.
“Haha, amazing!” says Richard. “Assuming we don’t have tickets for Lord’s & fancy an experience, are there any official venues in London for enjoying the atmosphere on a big screen?”
There will be, although I’m not sure where. You’re welcome!
“I remember listening to the last World Cup semi-final on my Walkman in my A level Geography class,” says Nick Errington. “Mrs Sansom asked me if I could stop listening during the lesson. I explained it was either I listen quietly or leave the lesson. We agreed I could keep one ear on her and one on TMS. It was the right choice. Sometimes sport is more important. Just like today.”
You must have been a very naughty boy – that game was on a Sunday. (I jest; you meant the final, right?)
“Is it too late,” says Adam Hirst, “to change the final venue to Edgbaston?”
Anyone out there? We’ll keep the blog going for a while, so feel free to email euphoric thoughts.
Jeez, England were good today. They are such merciless front-runners. “From ball two of the game,” says Joe Rooy on Sky, “we were outstanding.” That was their best display of the World Cup, by a mile, and you could argue it’s the finest performance in their ODI history. I’m probably getting carried away, but what the hell.
Jofra Archer is being interviewed on Sky
“I feel bad about Alex Carey. He’s coming to Sussex in a few weeks, so we’ll have something to talk about! It stopped swinging pretty early so I just went to the cross- and quarter-seam balls to get something off the wicket. It nipped more than it swung. Today was the best wicket to bowl a knuckle ball on; I’ve never had that much reaction off the pitch, ever. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be playing in a World Cup final.”
Channel 4 has signed a deal to show the World Cup final live on free-to-air television, with the broadcaster showing Sky’s coverage from 9am onwards.
However, because Channel 4 is already planning to show the Formula 1 British Grand Prix, the cricket coverage will shift to More4 from 1.15pm onwards – meaning most of the match will be tucked away on the more obscure channel.
Here’s Eoin Morgan
“I’d like to thank the fans – we’ve had unbelievable support. Edgbaston has always been very kind to us, but our support today has been exemplary. We took a lot of confidence from the last two group games. We set the tone from ball one, and when we got on top we made Australia pay a little bit.
“I’m extremely happy [for Chris Woakes to get POTM]. He’s a cool customer, he goes about his business exceptionally. Today was his day. Him and Jofra up front were absolutely outstanding – that was one of our best new-ball performances over the last four years.
“Jason and Jonny are quite imposing when they get themselves in. Personally I think they’re in the form of their life. They set the tone for how we want to play and that’s important.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us on Sunday. Everybody in that changing-room should take a huge amount of credit for what we’ve achieved in the last four years. Making the most of the opportunity on Sunday would be fantastic, but getting there alone is awesome.”
The thoroughly likeable Aaron Finch speaks
“We were totally outplayed today. The way they set the tone with the ball in the first 10 overs was a huge part in the game. They bowled a great length, hitting the stumps a lot. Still a lot of positives to take out of the World Cup campaign from our point of view. We’ve come a long way from where we were this time last year in England.
“[Do you look at this campaign as a success?] You always wanna win. You come here thinking you can win the tournament. But there have definitely been some positives in this campaign, and over the last six months or so. I’m really proud of how the group has progressed. But it still hurts.
“We tried to change it up as much as we could [against Bairstow and Roy] but they played exceptionally well. We know how dynamic and dominating they are when they get on top. We didn’t quite execute as well as we could have, and when that happens you get hurt by a very, very good cricket team.”
What a staggering turnaround we have witnessed from England’s ODI side. No, not the last four years; I’m talking about the last two weeks. After they were hammered by Australia at Lord’s they were facing a career-defining humiliation; since then they have beaten their three biggest rivals through performances of ever-increasing majesty.
Chris Woakes is the Player of the Match
“I’m speechless. It was an incredible performance from the whole team. There were some nerves this morning but I think that’s natural. The way we produced the goods shows how good we are and where we’re at as a team. I don’t think it was a bad wicket by any means, but I think we found the right length and when they lost early wickets we were able to keep the pressure on. [How old were you when England last played in a World Cup final?] I was three years old! It hasn’t really sunk in that we’re in a World Cup final, but hopefully we can go all the way. To win this in the fashion we have, against a good Australian side – on the best ground in the world, may I say – means we’re really looking forward to Sunday.”
English TV department If you don’t have Sky, the highlights are on Channel 4 at 10pm tonight. And there were some serious highlights, especially when Jason Roy was batting. I hope his petulance doesn’t detract from an innings of Pietersenian genius and audacity.
Root ended with 49 from 46 balls, Morgan with 45 from 39. Mitchell Starc, who destroyed England at Lord’s along with Jason Behrendorff, ended with grisly figures of 9-0-70-1.
Australia’s players all congratulate Root and Morgan. They usually take defeat with a lot of class, and today is no exception. There’s such a great atmosphere around Edgbaston. England owe South Africa a big thank you for this, because playing Australia at this ground was perfect. The crowd have been wonderful. We didn’t come up with a name for the ground, but it has certainly been England’s Gabbatoir today.
ENGLAND BEAT AUSTRALIA BY EIGHT WICKETS WITH 107 BALLS TO SPARE
32.1 overs: England 226-2 (Root 49, Morgan 45) Eoin Morgan clouts Behrendorff down the ground for four to complete a glorious victory. England will play New Zealand in the World Cup final at Lord’s on Sunday!
32nd over: England 222-2 (Root 49, Morgan 41) Glenn Maxwell, a proud fielder to the last, takes the game into the 33rd over with a spectacular stop at backward point.
“Hi Rob,” says Anil Haji. “Sitting at my desk reading the OBO with a smile on my face, feeling calm and positive about the final we’re going to be in. What’s wrong with this picture? If I’d tried this back in the 90s, I’d have been laughed out of the England Cricket Supporters’ Union (Pray For Rain branch).”
31st over: England 216-2 (Root 44, Morgan 40) Root swats Behrendorff through midwicket for four more. I wondered about England’s ability to come from behind within a game; they haven’t had to do so, unless you count when Australia were 4-0 after one ball. It’s been an awesome performance, a surgical dismantling of a superb Australian side.
“I’m convinced,” says Damo, “that the umpire forgot England had used their review and took the safe (bottled it) option.”
I think you might be right. Roy had certainly forgotten; he signalled for a review before misplacing his rag.
30th over: England 210-2 (Root 39, Morgan 40) Morgan batters Lyon to the cover boundary to take England past 200, and then Root reverse sweeps cheekily for four more. This is a pasting for the ages. Lyon, a potential matchwinner, has figures of 5-0-49-0.
“So here we are,” whispers Harkarn Sumal. “Polishing off our drinks, undressing each other with our eyes; the deal is sealed. We’re in the Clooney/Lopez ‘Out of Sight’ zone, aren’t we? Grab your coat, Thomas Lord. You’ve pulled. See you Sunday.”
29th over: England 197-2 (Root 33, Morgan 33) A brilliant slower bounce from Behrendorff hoodwinks Morgan, who waits and waits and waits and still misses his attempted pull stroke. A maiden.
It’s only bloody time for a Powerade Hydration Break.
“Afternoon Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “Just back from my morning walk. Don’t tell me, Australia made 350, and England are 120-5 after 25 overs in reply, right?”
28th over: England 197-2 (Root 33, Morgan 33) Morgan gets down on one knee to drag Lyon round the corner for four, and makes room to bash the next delivery to the cover boundary. He has gone straight from first gear to fifth; six from his first 12 balls, 27 from the next 16.
“Required run rate less than two an over,” says Siraj Khan, who incidentally predicted a New Zealand victory over England at Lord’s before the semi-finals. “This can change radically if Steve Smith brings himself on.”
27th over: England 186-2 (Root 32, Morgan 23) A lucky escape for Morgan, who mistimes a drive off Behrendorff’s slower ball. It teases Finch at mid-off before dropping just out of reach. Morgan is keen to get this done, and later in the over he pulls witheringly behind square for four. This has been a savage performance from England. Easy to get carried away, but given the moment (given the batsman, etc), I doubt there has been a better performance in their one-day history.
“Could Umpire Dharmasena have sent his own decision to DRS with a soft ‘Out’ signal?” asks Rob Mildren.
No, he’s not allowed to do that. The umpires can refer a few things – run-outs, stumpings, low catches – but they can’t go upstairs to see whether the ball has been edged unless one of the teams review.
26th over: England 178-2 (Root 31, Morgan 16) Lyon returns to the attack and is reverse swept jauntily over backward point for four by Morgan.
“I think the comparison of Roy to Pietersen is an unfair one,” says Chris Parker. “He’s much better than that.”
Are you sure? Kevin Pietersen is, by some distance, the biggest genius I’ve had the privilege to watch play for England. (Just my opinion, etc.)
25th over: England 171-2 (Root 30, Morgan 10) This is Starc’s eighth over. Root, who has quietly played a lovely little innings, flicks a low full toss to fine leg for four. He has 30 from 29 balls, and England need 53 from 25 overs.
“It wasn’t ENGLAND’S fault, Rob (over 21),” says Tom Adam. “It was Bairstow’s fault – it was a ridiculous review since the only way he wasn’t out was if he’d hit it and he should have known he hadn’t. Bairstow has real form for this – he’s the Broad of batting reviews, but Broad’s manageable since he has to consult the committee of keeper and skipper. Bairstow has the power to do it himself. We should give a standing instruction to the umpires that no Bairstow signal for a review counts unless he gets the non-striker to sign it off in duplicate.”
True, but there is a culture of indulgent, almost petulant reviews. I also think Roy told him to review, though I couldn’t be sure as they chucked me out of the WhatsApp group when they realised I wasn’t actually Zafar Ansari.
24th over: England 166-2 (Root 25, Morgan 10) Australia are bombing Morgan, who grits his teeth and takes one on the glove from Cummins. He is struggling with the short ball when Australia get their line right; there have been a few poorly directed deliveries as well. When Cummins tries to sucker him with a fuller delivery, Morgan drives confidently over mid-off for four. Lovely shot.
“What are the chances Roy will miss the final?” says Dave Brown. “He really threw his toys out the pram when given out. Is that more than just a fine?”
I haven’t swotted up on the Code of Conduct in the last few decades, but I suspect it’s very unlikely. Although he was out of order, I have plenty of sympathy in the circumstances. He was playing the innings of his life, he was palpably not out, and Dharmasena’s shaky raise of the finger suggested he might have responded to the vigour of Australia’s appeal.
23rd over: England 158-2 (Root 23, Morgan 5) With Starc bowling to Morgan, Finch has placed himself in a catching position … at long stop. Imaginary CricViz stats show his field registers 9.9 on the funkfieldometer. Starc does bounce Morgan, but it’s a bit too wide and Morgan is able to slap it over point for a one-bounce four.
“Judging by the unbridled optimism of over 19,” says Ian Copestake, “I think the OBO has already been taken over by Marina Hyde.”
There’s some light rain at Edgbaston, and the groundstaff are poised. England are 75 or so runs ahead on DLS.
22nd over: England 153-2 (Root 22, Morgan 1) This is Australia’s last, last, last chance, which is why their best bowlers are on. If Cummins or Starc can bounce Morgan out, we might just have Mohali: The Sequel. With the required rate below three an over, Morgan is able to ignore a series of short balls. When Cummins gets his line a bit tighter, Morgan gloves the ball awkwardly at his feet. That was a beautiful delivery.
21st over: England 151-2 (Root 21, Morgan 0) Thanks Geoff. While Geoff was handing over the baton, Mitchell Starc bowled six balls to Joe Root, off which four runs were scored.
Now, Jason Roy. It was an unjust end to a stunning innings, but it’s England’s fault for an indulgent review earlier in the innings. They’ve done that a few times in the tournament. That innings, though. It touched the parts Kevin Pietersen used to reach, and there are few higher compliments, if any.
Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2019/jul/11/australia-v-england-cricket-world-cup-2019-semi-final-live
Publish date : 2019-07-11 17:38:00