England’s Jofra Archer struck for the second time on Thursday when he dismissed Glen Maxwell (22) in the 35th over, reducing Australia to 157 for 6 in the second World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston.
On the other side of the pitch, Steve Smith could only shake his head in disappointment as he saw his third partner depart in eight overs. The score predictor dropped to 229 runs from 310 at the start of the game.
Australia’s batting momentum was shaken for the second time in the day when Adil Rashid dismissed Alex Carey (46), breaking a solid 100-plus run partnership between the left-hander and Smith in the 28th over.
Rashid gave England another reason to celebrate two balls later after he dismissed Marcus Stoinis for a duck in the same over. Smith, who had scored his half-century off 72 balls, could only watch in disappointment as Stoinis walked off.
Smith and Carey had managed to gain control of the innings after a disastrous start from Australia, as English bowlers tried to restrict the flow of runs. Together, they had posted 103 runs on the scoreboard.
Australia had lost their top three batsmen and managed to score merely 27 runs — their lowest score in an opening powerplay. The defending champs were reduced to 15 for three in seven overs after Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer swiftly ripped through their top order.
Skipper Aaron Finch was bowled out for a duck by Archer in the second over of play while Woakes picked up the wickets of David Warner (9) and Peter Handscomb (4).
The loss of Finch and Warner so early in the game was a blow to Australia, as the two have consistently built strong partnerships that have proved to be a major contributor in their team’s victories in the group matches of the World Cup.
Australia had won the toss and opted to bat first.
The winner of today’s match will head to the final at Lord’s to face New Zealand, who emerged victorious against India in the first semi-final on Wednesday.
England are unchanged, while Australia bring in Peter Handscomb for the injured Usman Khawaja. Handscomb will bat at number four, meaning Steve Smith has gone up the order to number 3.
There were scattered clouds on a sunny and warm morning in Birmingham.
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Steven Smith, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Jason Behrendorff