The toss The toss played an important role at Edgbaston as the previous two games played here proved that the pitch plays at its best for the first 60-70 overs. England piled on 337 against India on this same ground and later India found it tough to play strokes in the later stages of their innings. Same was the case with Bangladesh who lost to India while chasing 315 two days later. The pitch report suggested that it was a kind of a track where any captain would love to bat first and put runs on the board. Aaron Finch won the toss and he elected to bat first without any second thought.
That's plumb in front Jofra Archer removed Aaron Finch for a golden duck on the first ball of second over. Finch missed a ball that was pitched up and jagged back sharply and he couldn't cover the movement. How many times we have seen Aaron Finch do that of late? He reviewed the decision but the hawk eye revealed three reds and Australia lost a review along with their captain early. The wicket triggered a collapse and Australia lost Warner and Handscomb soon which ensured a below average total on board in the first inning.
Rockstar Rashid Steve Smith and Alex Carey stitched down a 103 run partnership but just when it looked like the pair will take the game away from England, Adil Rashid trapped Carey in the 28th over with a loopy delivery which webbed the batsman into a false shot. Rashid didn't stop just there and he removed dangerous Marcus Stoinis for a duck in the same over. Rashid floated in a googly which Stoinis failed to read completely. He went for a cut initially and until he realized that it was actually a wrong un, the damage was done. Australian top order was back in the hut with 22 overs still remaining.
Déjà vu A direct hit threw India out of the world cup yesterday as Dhoni was found an inch short of his crease. Yesterday it was Guptill, today it was Jos Buttler with the rocket arm. Starc nudged a ball and Smith tried to steal the single anyway as he wanted the strike to make most of the final few overs. Just like Dhoni, Smith too was found short of his crease by an inch while protecting a tail-ender. The wicket meant that Australia failed to play out the full quota of their overs and they fell a few runs short (or maybe too many) as well.
The opening assault Australia rarely had any moment to cherish in the second innings of the game. The English openers, Johnny Bairstow and Jason Roy, both had a history of struggle against balls coming back into them and Australia had two of the best in their bowling lineup to do the job. Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc, both the Aussie opening bowlers are masters of this art but unfortunately it was not their day today. After a cautious start, the English batsmen went after the Aussie bowlers at full throttle and the openers piled on 124 in just 17.2 overs. In a chase of 224, a start of this kind usually nails down the chase way before its conclusion and that's what happened here. Australia missed a wrist spinner in their XI badly as England knocked them out of the world cup 2019. The trophy will have a new pair of hands holding it this time around as neither the Kiwis nor England have won a cricket world cup ever.
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