Behrendorff, Starc run through England at Lord’s

Aaron Finch (100) and the fast bowlers help Australia beat England by 64 runs and book semifinal spot in World Cup 2019.

Jason Behrendorff (left) celebrates the wicket of Moeen Ali with Mitchell Starc at Lord’s on Tuesday.   -  Getty Images

 

England’s hopes of making it to the World Cup semifinals suffered a blow as it collapsed to a 64-run defeat against Australia at Lord’s on Tuesday.

Coming into the game, England required a victory to ensure its spot in the last-four, but with Jason Behrendorff claiming a five-for (5-44), the host lost the plot while chasing Australia’s 285-7, and was bundled out for 221 at the ‘Home of Cricket’.

Put in to bat, Aaron Finch played a captain’s knock of 100 in 116 deliveries — his second century of the tournament — to guide Australia to a competitive total.

As it happened| England vs Australia

In reply, the host was reeling at 53-4 at one stage, with its top-order fumbling again. Ben Stokes (89) and Jos Buttler (25) forged a 71-run stand to steady the ship, but all equations changed after Marcus Stoinis sent Buttler packing.

Joe Root loses balance after being trapped in front of the wicket by Starc.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Stokes then stitched a 53-run stand with Chris Woakes (26) before Mitchell Starc dismissed him.

England batsman Ben Stokes kicks his bat in frustration after falling to Mitchell Starc.   -  AP/PTI

 

Following a shock defeat against Sri Lanka last week and this loss, England needs to win at least one of its two remaining games to remain in contention.

But there’s a catch. In case, either Bangladesh, Pakistan or Sri Lanka win all their remaining matches, England has to ensure it wins both the games — against India and New Zealand.

Mitchell Starc celebrates a wicket during the match against England at Lord's on Tuesday.   -  AFP

 

Earlier in the day, Australia got off to a solid start with openers Finch and David Warner (53) forging a 123-run stand — their fifth fifty-plus partnership in a row.

In the process, Warner became the leading batsman in the tournament, with 500 runs in his kitty — four more than Finch, who is placed second.

The England pacers were unable to take early advantage of the overcast conditions as Finch and Warner played carefully.

READ| Warner, Finch set partnership record

Till the 23rd over, the balance seemed tilted Australia’s way, with another 300-plus score looming large. But England rallied back with Moeen Ali dismissing Warner.

Finch, who got a reprieve on 15, reached his 15th ODI ton in just 115 balls, but fell off the very next ball to Jofra Archer.

Having lost three wickets for 185, Australia needed Glenn Maxwell and Steven Smith to put up a big partnership. Maxwell, however, was caught behind by Buttler off a Mark Wood delivery for 12. Three overs later, a lack of communication between Smith and Stoinis saw the latter getting run out.

Though, Smith (38) batted with intent until he was packed off by Chris Woakes, it was not enough to guide the Aussies to a 300-plus total. Alex Carey provided the finishing burst to the Australian innings, smashing an unbeaten 38 off 27 balls.