London: Australia defeated England comprehensively by 64 runs and became the first team to qualify for the semifinals in the ongoing World Cup. Captain Aaron Finch was a satisfied man after the match.
On Tuesday, Australia rode on a brilliant hundred from Finch as they posted a competitive total of 285/7 in challenging conditions at the Lord's. What England needed was a solid performance from their batters, especially the top four in absence of their regular opener Jason Roy to chase down the target.
However, they failed to do so and were eventually bundled out for 221 inside 45 overs, thus registering their second defeat it four days. It was only all-rounder Ben Stokes who kept them in the hunt as he played an impressive knock of 89.
However, his innings was ended by Australia's premier fast bowler Mitchell Starc who bowled a perfect inswinging yorker to send the left-handed Englishman back to the dressing room. "That's (semi-final qualification) the first part ticked off, which is a really nice feeling.
I think England are a stand-out side who can take you apart with ball and bat quite quickly. It was nice that we found ways to keep getting wickets," Finch said at the post-match presentation ceremony. Earlier, Finch scored his second hundred of the tournament off 116 deliveries. His century was studded with 11 boundaries and 2 sixes.
Talking about his batting, the 32-year-old said: "(I) didn't play too badly, anytime you contribute to a team win is special. I think that is the most important thing. (It was) nice to get a hundred in a win." Finch, along with David Warner, laid a solid foundation and the duo added 123 runs for the opening wicket in which Warner contributed 53. "I laid a reasonable foundation with Davey (Warner). Bit more confidence when you walk out and you know you have done well against an opposition.
It was nipping around, it was seaming. I think we played quite well. We were as tight as we could be and tried to cash in on the width," revealed Finch talking about their game plan in the initial overs.
The Australian skipper was all praise for left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff, who returned with figures of 5/44 in his 10 overs and dented England's top order. "Behrendorff bowled beautifully, we've, you've got a guy who can swing the ball back down the line to the right handers, that's an asset," said Finch.
Finch also said that the team was progressing in the right direction and is on course of winning their sixth World Cup title. "We're confident with what we've got. We have won five World Cups in our history so there's plenty to suggest that the way to go about it is the right way to do it.
I don't think any method works every single day. It just gives us the chance to play our best cricket consistently and that is what we are asking for," Finch said. Australia, currently at the top of the table with 12 points, will next take on New Zealand on Saturday. (IANS)
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