England thump Australia by 8 wickets, set up World Cup final clash with New Zealand - GulfToday

England thump Australia by 8 wickets, set up World Cup final clash with New Zealand

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England players (in blue kit) shake hand with Australian players after winning the Cricket World Cup semi-final match in Birmingham on Thursday. Rui Vieira / AP

England booked their place in the World Cup final against New Zealand with a dominant eight-wicket win over reigning champions Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Jason Roy hit a blistering 85 as England reached a victory target of 224 with a mammoth 107 balls to spare after restricting Australia.

Openers Roy and Jonny Bairstow (34) put on 124 for the first wicket, their fourth consecutive century stand.

England, losing finalists in 1979, 1987 and 1992, will now face New Zealand, who have also yet to win the World Cup after finishing runners-up to Australia four years ago, in Sunday's final at Lord's following the Black Caps' surprise semi-final win over India.

"I'm pretty speechless," said man-of-the-match Chris Woakes.

"It was an incredible performance from the whole team. It started with the bowling performance and then the way they knocked that off was outstanding.

"There were some nerves around this morning but that's natural going into a semi-final. The way we produced the goods just showed how good we are and where we are at as a team." Roy, who missed three matches earlier in the tournament with a torn hamstring, was in particularly good form, hitting left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon for sixes.

Australia were in desperate need of early wickets after suffering a top-order collapse on the way to being dismissed for 223, with the record five-time champions thankful for Steve Smith's battling 85.

All three of England's defeats this tournament − including a 64-run grou- stage loss to Australia − have come batting second but Roy and Bairstow showed few signs of nerves in Birmingham.

Australia captain Aaron Finch turned to Steve Smith's occasional leg-spin in a desperate bid to break the partnership.

- Smith booed - Smith was booed by a large crowd, a reflection of the former Australia captain's role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that saw him banned for 12 months.

But the jeers turned to cheers as Roy hit three huge straight sixes in as many balls.

Bairstow fell lbw to Starc, who in the process set a new record for most wickets at a single World Cup of 27.

Roy was in sight of a hundred when he was given out caught behind down the legside by wicketkeeper Alex Carey off fast bowler Pat Cummins.

The batsman was visibly angry and had to be ushered away from the crease by square leg umpire Marais Erasmus. England had earlier squandered their lone review.

Test skipper Joe Root (49 not out) and England captain Eoin Morgan (45 not out) finished the job as the crowd chanted "cricket's coming home".

Defeat meant Australia suffered their first loss in eight World Cup semi-finals.

Earlier, Woakes and Adil Rashid each took three wickets apiece.

Woakes struck twice early on at his Warwickshire home ground as Australia slumped to 14-3 after winning the toss.

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

Warner, who like Smith walked out to boos because of his role in the ball-tampering scandal, returned to even louder cat-calls after being dismissed for nine.

Smith and Alex Carey steadied the innings with a fourth-wicket stand of 103 but wickets tumbled at regular intervals and Australia were unable to set England a testing target.

Agence France-Presse

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Team Emirates’ Pogacar claims podium finish

A monumental final push in the UAE heat from Tadej Pogacar wasn’t enough to take the win in the third stage of the team’s home country as Adam Yates...


The 184km Emirates Stage finished with an exhausting 10.8km climb as Yates launched a surprisingly early attack with 6km to go. Pogacar didn’t react to Yates’ initial acceleration but then ripped clear of the chasing group with 5km remaining, finishing second in the stage, claiming the young rider’s jersey and ending the day second in the GC in a successful day for the team.

Pogacar said “It was extremely hot today, so for me on a climb like that in those temperatures it was a really good ride and I’m pleased.

“There is still three stages with another big mountain stage and the chance of crosswinds tomorrow so it’s not over yet. We have a strong team here so will try something for sure.”

Pogacar will get another chance to claim back the one minute GC deficit as the fifth stage of the Tour finishes at the same Jebel Hafeet summit.

Pogacar will wear the white young rider’s jersey in Wednesday’s stage as the race sees the riders return to the flats which will come as welcome relief for the sprinters.

The Emirates NBD Stage starts from Zabeel Park, crosses Mushrif Park and Motor City before finishing at Dubai City Walk where the popular walkway has been transformed as part of the racing route.

British climber Yates pulverised the opposition on the tough, final ascent of stage, winning by over a minute and taking the overall race lead.

His compatriot Chris Froome was dropped early in the race.

The four-time Tour de France winner again struggled on his comeback from injuries sustained last May.

The 27-year-old Yates is also making his 2020 debut and looks favourite to win in a competitive field after his stunning attack from 6km out at the end of a warm day with temperatures passing 30C.

“I attacked maybe a little too early, but in the end I felt good,” said Yates, whose win gives him a 1min 07sec lead in the overall.

“A minute is a lot, but we have to do this climb again, and maybe my legs won’t be so good then,” Yates said in reference to stage five.

“Also tomorrow I heard a rumour there are going to be crosswinds, so we’ll see.”

Yates was followed up the final 10.6km Jebell Hafeet climb at a 7 per cent gradient by a trio of challengers with Slovenian prodigy Pogacar finishing 1min 03sec adrift.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko was third at 1min 30sec accompanied by up-and-coming Frenchman David Gaudu.

Yates came fourth at the 2016 Tour de France and is targeting the Grand Boucle this summer where he will lead the Australian team ahead of his brother Simon.

Wednesday’s flat stage, the fourth of seven, is a 173km run to Dubai City Walk where a mass bunch sprint is expected.





Stage 3 Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 4h42’34”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:03

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:30

General Classification Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 12h30’02”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:07

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:35

20 hours ago