• Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019
  • Last Update : 10:42 pm

Straight Bat: A very popular defeat

  • Published at 10:17 am June 26th, 2019
Finch
Australia's Aaron Finch plays a shot during their World Cup match against England in London Tuesday AFP

Australia thrash England to reach the semis

People didn’t cheer for Australia -- a team disliked by the cricket minions -- but hoped they would beat England. 

It’s not just because of England’s unpopularity but their “strategic” hope/calculations to reach the semis. 

The three lesser Asian teams, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, who are jostling for a chance at the fourth spot saw an English loss as positive for their promotion.  England obliged.  

England is very much in the challenge but bruised badly as they now have to play New Zealand and India, who look rather healthy. Some are saying that England was arrogant -- yes, but that was against Afghanistan.  

Everyone takes Afghanistan lightly. What all do is take Australia seriously. So did England but they were out-classed. Australia became the first team to qualify for the semis. 

But for England, toiling hours remain before they can be sure. 

A low-end England  

England never read the match right and failed to restrict Australia to what became an unreachable total. 

Finch scored a century before going the next ball. Warner 53 and in the end, Australia reached 285 for 7. 

It seemed big for this ground but became much bigger as England lost 4 quick wickets for 53 only.

Stokes (89) and Buttler (27) did a repair job of sorts but even then they were never in contention to win. 

Wickets fell like the way-lesser team’s middle and tail falls. 

The team that was billed as the potentate to the world cricket crown, particularly by the BBC, were looking oh-so-glum. Their upper cluster club membership is under threat now. 

 Don’t they ever panic? 

Australia was imperious in a slightly haphazard way but their record stood intact as the mentally toughest team in the Cup. 

As a slightly desperate England fan asked, “Don’t they ever panic?” Probably not. 

When England went to bat they crumbled in the face of the pace attack. 

Finch scored a century to become the man of the match, but the pacers won it for Australia. 

Behrendorff took five wickets and Starc took four wickets. It means leftie quickies took 9 out of the 10 wickets and for just 87 runs. 

As Cricinfo said, “England have been yorker-ized in the World Cup Ashes showdown, and now their campaign really is on the ropes.” It’s a bowler’s cup.    

Australia in the World Cup have defended 275+ targets every one of the 25 times they had to successfully. It’s a record with which one doesn’t mess with. 

It isn’t over yet for England but they have to scrap with the middling teams of the Cup to qualify. The champ tag seems a memory now.  

Afsan Chowdhury is a journalist and researcher.