World Cup semi-final: England dismiss Australia for 223

World Cup semi-final: England dismiss Australia for 223

Birmingham: Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid each took three wickets as England seized control of their World Cup semi-final against Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday, bowling out the defending champions for 223.

Woakes struck twice early on as Australia slumped to 14-3 after winning the toss in Birmingham but Steve Smith led the recovery for Australia with 85 and Alex Carey made 46.

The hope for Australia is that an attack led by left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc, the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 26 scalps, can defend a seemingly low total.

All three of England’s defeats at this tournament, against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia, have come batting second.

England, bidding to reach their first final since 1992 and yet to win the World Cup, made a sensational start.

Australia’s prolific opening pair of David Warner and Aaron Finch, as well as Peter Handscomb, were all back in the pavilion by the seventh over.

Warner, who walked out to boos because of his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year, returned to even louder jeers after being dismissed for nine.

Smith, who was also given a 12-month ban for his part in the incident, was given a similar greeting when he made his way to the wicket.

Smith and Carey steadied the innings with a fourth-wicket stand of 103 before leg-spinner Adil Rashid (3-54) struck twice in five balls.

Australia wicketkeeper Carey had his helmet knocked off by a Jofra Archer bouncer and required several minutes of on-field treatment.

With his head swathed in a bandage, Carey resumed his innings but in sight of a fifty he hoisted Rashid straight to substitute fielder James Vince at deep midwicket.

Four balls later, Australia were 118-5 when all-rounder Marcus Stoinis was lbw for a duck to Rashid’s googly.

The dangerous Glenn Maxwell then holed out to England captain Eoin Morgan off Archer for 22 and Pat Cummins was caught by Joe Root to give Rashid another victim.

Smith received good support from Starc (29) in an eighth-wicket stand of 51 but, in sight of a hundred, he was run out by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler’s direct hit.

Next ball, Starc was caught behind off Woakes and the innings ended with an over to spare when Mark Wood bowled Jason Behrendorff.

Archer, who took 2-32, said: “From the New Zealand game it’s all been a semi-final for us so we just need to keep winning.

“Maxwell was my favourite wicket because he got me out at Lord’s so it’s good to get him back. Smith batted really well today, especially on this pitch.

“It nipped a lot more than it swung so we held the ball back and used more cross-seam deliveries.”

The winners of the match in Birmingham will face 2015 runners-up New Zealand, who shocked mighty India at Old Trafford, in Sunday’s final at Lord’s.

Australia are bidding for a sixth World Cup title, having won four of the past five editions.