As the Ashes is looming, which will take place just after the World Cup, it would not be a surprise if you see Jofra Archer getting picked for the Test matches
It’s the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, and the second World Cup semi-final. It’s against arch-rival Australia.
The stage was perfect for England to roar in front of their home crowd.
And they made a brilliant start, and credit goes to England’s opening bowling pair of Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer.
Edgbaston has become a fortress for the England team as they have won 10 games in a row across all formats at this venue prior to facing Australia in the semis.
Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bat first.
But England made an explosive start. England’s new sensation Archer took wicket in his very first ball of this match. And it was the Australia captain’s wicket.
Finch has scored 1,253 runs against England in 26 innings with an average of 52.21 prior to this match.
What a bowler @JofraArcher is going to be....actually he already is superb. 👏🏻— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 11, 2019
In his two previous innings against England in the World Cup stage, Finch scored two centuries - 135 at the MCG in 2015 and 100 at Lord’s in 2019.
But this time Finch got out for a golden duck.
He reviewed the decision but it went against him and as it were, England were off to a dream start in the World Cup semi-final at their “fortress”.
No 3 batsman Steve Smith came to the crease after Finch’s departure and the crowd started booing Smith and opener David Warner due to their involvement in the infamous “sandpaper-gate scandal”.
Archer bowled with steaming pace and maintained constant pressure on the Aussie top-order.
Archer’s opening bowling partner Woakes bowled with accuracy at the other end and bagged two crucial wickets, first Warner and then Peter Handscomb.
Archer bowled with express pace in his first spell and conceded just 11 runs in his first five overs, taking one wicket.
Jofra Archer now has 18 #CWC19 wickets. That's two more than the previous best by an England player at a World Cup. (Ian Botham got 16 in 1992).— Test Match Special (@bbctms) July 11, 2019
Live: https://t.co/4GbSquM8op#CWC19 #bbccricket #AUSvsENG pic.twitter.com/aesyfVO2FQ
In the last ball of the eighth over, a fearsome bouncer from Archer hit Australia’s wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey and left him bloodied.
Surely, Archer is the x-factor of England at the moment as the young pacer has been terrorizing batsmen with hi sheer pace and bouncers throughout the tournament.
Archer was not in the initial England squad for the World Cup.
There was an ongoing debate as to whether Archer should be picked for the World Cup.
Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff said he would drop "anyone" from the squad to accommodate Archer.
And everyone had their perspective with regards to Archer’s inclusion in the squad.
Archer made his ODI debut for England on May 3, 2019.
Jofra Archer, who made his international debut just two months ago, finishes with figures of 2/32 from 10 overs in a World Cup semi-final against Australia 🔥— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) July 11, 2019
Nerves of steel 💪#CWC19 | #AUSvENG | #WeAreEngland pic.twitter.com/yXjU0uQzb4
And after an impressive start, he was immediately taken to the World Cup squad and has now eventually become a special weapon in England’s bowling armory.
A total of 19 wickets in 10 innings with an economy rate of 4.61 certainly proves that he is the emerging star of the tournament.
Archer took another important wicket, that of Glenn Maxwell, in the middle period of the game, with a clever slower delivery.
He finished with bowling figure of 2/32 against the mighty Aussies, that too in a crucial game like a World Cup semi-final.
Australia have quality fast bowlers in their squad including the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, among others.
But the way Archer earned fear and respect against the Australia top-order was a treat to watch for cricket fans.
As the Ashes is looming, which will take place just after the World Cup, it would not be a surprise if you see Archer getting picked for the Test matches.
And then, send the stumps flying and Archer celebrating ecstatically.
AUSTRALIA INNINGS R B
Warner c Bairstow b Woakes 9 11
Finch lbw b Archer 0 1
Smith run out (Buttler) 85 119
Handscomb b Woakes 4 12
Carey c sub (Vince) b Rashid 46 70
Stoinis lbw b Rashid 0 2
Maxwell c Morgan b Archer 22 23
Cummins c Root b Rashid 6 10
Starc c Buttler b Woakes 29 36
Behrendorff b Wood 1 4
Lyon not out 5 6
Extras (lb6, w10) 16
Total (49 overs) 223/10
Fall Of Wickets
1-4 (Finch), 2-10 (Warner), 3-14 (Handscomb), 4-117 (Carey), 5-118 (Stoinis), 6-157 (Maxwell), 7-166 (Cummins), 8-217 (Smith), 9-217 (Starc), 10-223 (Behrendorff)
Woakes 8-0-20-3, Archer 10-0-32-2 (w2), Stokes 4-0-22-0, Wood 9-0-45-1 (w4), Plunkett 8-0-44-0 (w3), Rashid 10-0-54-3 (w1)
ENGLAND INNINGS R B
Roy c Carey b Cummins 85 65
Bairstow lbw b Starc 34 43
Root not out 49 46
Morgan not out 45 39
Extras (lb1, w12) 13
Total (32.1 overs) 226/2
Fall Of Wickets
1-124 (Bairstow), 2-147 (Roy)
Behrendorff 8.1-2-38-0 (w1), Starc 9-0-70-1 (w3), Cummins 7-0-34-1 (w2), Lyon 5-0-49-0, Smith 1-0-21-0 (w1), Stoinis 2-0-13-0 (w1)
England won by eight wickets
MoM: Chris Woakes