Bowling first after losing the toss, the Englishmen dismissed the defending champions for a paltry 223 as Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer ran through the top order, finishing with a total of five wickets between them. Adil Rashid also delivered key blows in the middle overs and it was only Steve Smith's 85 that gave the total some respectability.
In response, Jason Roy raced away and was dominant in an opening partnership of 124 with Jonny Bairstow (34). Roy seemed set for yet another hundred when he was erroneously given out caught behind in rather embarrassing fashion, and was understandably furious, initially refusing to leave the field. Skipper Eoin Morgan and Joe Root put the finishing touches on the innings with unbeaten 40s.
Australian skipper Aaron Finch, who got a golden duck, was understandably dejected with the result, and admitted that they were totally outplayed.
“All in all we were totally outplayed to be honest, all throughout the day. But the damage was really done with the ball. Definitely in the first ten overs of the game. It was a bit of a frantic start, three-for in the powerplay.
Praising Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer, Finch added, “They’ve got bowlers that hit the seam and if there is anything in the wicket, they will certainly get it out of it. Chris Woakes is a world-class bowler, puts it in the right area time and time again, and Archer is getting better and better.”
Finch said there were mixed emotions considering no one expected them to come this far a year back. “In terms of where we were 12 months ago, obviously I think we have made a huge amount of progress and I’m really proud of everyone involved for how much hard work they’ve put in and how far we have come,” he said.
“But at the same time we came here today to win a semi-final and get ourselves into a position to win another World Cup. So it was really disappointing how it ended, especially to put up probably one of our worst performances in the tournament," he went on to say.
Finch however denied that the result will have any kind of bearing on the upcoming Ashes. “If we rolled up and played a one-dayer tomorrow there might be a few scars there, but in terms of the Test team, I don’t think so. I don’t think that the guys carry too much baggage when you are going between formats," Finch asserted.
--By A Cricket Correspondent