Australia left England on the brink of the Cricket World Cup
By the time they left, only the sound of the Australian celebrations remaining after the 64-time victory over England had earned a place in the World Cup Cricket semifinal.
Facing the English opponent for the first time since returning from the Prohibition 12 months for forging the ball, both men came out booing and joking, although the strongest was reserved for Smith.
Not that extra attention from the crowd appears to annoy either man. Warner hit 53 to become the top scorer in the tournament, while Smith, who was fired was organized with a great deal of joy from those in the stands, fighting to 38.
Both men played their part in Australia reaching 285-7 from their 50 before helping bypass England for 221.
Australia’s David Warner has received several sleighs from home supporters.For England, there is still much disappointment. The third defeat in seven group matches makes participating in four finals of the World Cup Cricket 2019 in serious danger.
Now they have to beat either India or New Zealand, both unbeaten in the tournament so far, to ensure it doesn’t suffer the same fate as the last time the tournament was held in 1999 when it was fell in the group stage.
As usual in an international competition, the ability to reach the peak at the right time is very important. For England, having dominated the single-day cricket for the past few years, it seems the peak is now fading out of sight.
Pressed by two disappointing defeats by Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Britain resisted that from the start when Australia started quickly at Lord.
Aaron Finch, captain of Australia, had a century and his opening collaboration with 123 with Warner allowed the visitors to take control of the competition.
England, winning 10 out of 12 matches a day before Australia, was rumbling. Poor protection, dropped catches and inaccurate bowling cause it to face a tough struggle.
Pursuing 286 to win, the British mission became impossible after losing three wicks in just 26 runs. Ben Stokes gave some resistance by hitting 89 but once he was chased by Mitchell Starc, England’s hopes of an unquestionable victory were all but over.
More worrying for England would be the spectacle of Bangladesh, a point behind, going up on the tracks. Sri Lanka, two points behind but with a game in hand, will also like its chances in the semi-final.
It was unthinkable just a few weeks ago – that the top-ranked host country could not put out the last four – was now becoming a more realistic possibility.