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Date TimeJuly 11, 2019
VoiceIT would seem unlikely there will be a repeat of Australia’s group barefoot stroll absorbing positive energy from the ground anytime soon this summer if yesterday’s outcome is anything to go by.
England book Cricket World Cup final place as Jason Roy and Jofra Archer destroy Australia
Three days after their hippy stroll around Edgbaston – ‘grounding’ they called it – a chastening afternoon for the Australian Cricket team ended with England strolling positively right into the World Cup Final.
It was ‘grounding’ of a sort but only in a sense of being dumped on your backside.
This was Australia, the land of the flint-edged cricketer, flattened in what was a surprisingly and brutally one-sided contest which England won with eight wickets and the best part of an hour to spare.
It was a beating of the sort they have been used to dishing out for decades.
And while there were flashes of class of Steve Smith, courage from Alex Carey after being bloodied by a Jofra Archer bouncer, and searing, angry pace from Mitchell Starc, the over-riding feeling was that we were witnessing the first significant blow of an Ashes summer.
Australia were frogmarched to the exit door by a muscular England with their legs dangling.
To put a defeat in context Australia have reached seven World Cup semi finals before winning six and securing a tie in the other in 1999. Never have they not progressed to a final from this point.
England have not made it past this point in 27 years.
The names of six of this Australia side will expect to return under a baggy green this summer with Smith, Starc, David Warner, Nathan Lyon, Peter Handscomb and Pat Cummins likely to figure in the Test side.
Carey and Matthew Wade, who ran drinks and gloves on and off here yesterday, will most likely figure in back up capacity as understudy wicketkeeper and batsman.
Australia will hope that there will be no lasting psychological damage.
England book Cricket World Cup final place as Jason Roy and Jofra Archer destroy Australia
Coach Justin Langer might rightly suggest everything will be different when they lock horns here at Edgbaston for the first Test on August 1, but the bruises from this may not have disappeared.
Australia will revamp their coaching staff as well as playing staff with Graeme Hick and Troy Cooley as batting and bowling coach and Steve Waugh as a mentor for a couple of Tests.
But it is unlikely to significantly add a harder edge to a staff given that Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin have sat on the balcony throughout this World Cup campaign.
Both will have wondered quite how it came to the point where at 5.14pm the scoreboard away to the right showed the equation: 2 runs 110 balls as the Hollies Stand oohed and aahed, revelling in every ball which failed to pierce the field.
A moment later Eoin Morgan hit the winning four over mid-on off Jason Behrendorff’s half tracker, the place erupted.
In 1992 England reached their last World Cup Final only to be beaten by Pakistan at the MCG. Since then Australia have ruthlessly dominated this competition reaching five of the six finals since and winning it four times.
England book Cricket World Cup final place as Jason Roy and Jofra Archer destroy Australia
England interrupted that yesterday by stealing their method: bowling with such venom up front that the Aussies were 14-3 and wobbling by the end of the sixth over.
Test skipper Joe Root will have noted the flashes of unorthodox brilliance from Smith remain undimmed by his ban for the ball tampering scandal. His 85 was, until Jason Roy levelled it, the game’s biggest contribution with the bat.
And, after having his chin split and his helmet knocked off by an 86mph bouncer from Jofra Archer, classy defiance from Carey who shared a restorative 103 run partnership with Smith which threatened to drag them back into the game.
Around them there was only failure and voluble reminders of it from the stands.
Warner and Smith, who sent down one over which Roy despatched for 21 including three sixes which, like the cheers accompanying them, got progressively bigger, can expect plenty more this summer.
England will hope that this is a blow which resonates throughout.

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