Australia crush England to reach World Cup semifinals

Australia’s Jason Behrendorff, right, David Warner, left, and Steve Smith celebrate taking the wicket of England’s Chris Woakes. (Reuters)
Updated 25 June 2019

Australia crush England to reach World Cup semifinals

  • Finch made exactly 100 in a total of 285-7 before England slumped to 221 all out with 32 balls left
  • The recalled Behrendorff took 5-44, while Starc became the leading bowler at the tournament with 19 scalps thanks to a haul of 4-43

LONDON: Australia captain Aaron Finch hit a hundred before left-arm quicks Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc shared nine wickets as the reigning champions thumped England by 64 runs at Lord’s on Tuesday to book their place in the semifinals of the World Cup.
Finch made exactly 100 in a total of 285-7 before England slumped to 221 all out with 32 balls left.
The recalled Behrendorff took 5-44 — his first five-wicket haul in a one-day international — while Starc became the leading bowler at the tournament with 19 scalps thanks to a haul of 4-43.
For England, who entered the showpiece event as the top-ranked side in ODI cricket, this was a second straight defeat after their shock 20-run loss to Sri Lanka.
The host nation, bidding to win a first World Cup title, can still qualify for the semifinals but they are likely to need to beat at least one of India and New Zealand in their remaining two group games.
“There are teams that you have confidence playing against but I have had plenty of low scores against England as well,” said man-of-the-match Finch.
“It was nipping around first thing. We were as tight as we could be and then took advantage of any width.”
England’s reply saw them lose a wicket off just the second ball of their chase, with the struggling James Vince — only playing because Jason Roy was out with a hamstring injury — bowled by a Behrendorff inswinger.
Starc then took two wickets in nine balls.
Test skipper Joe Root was plumb lbw to an inswinger for eight before England captain Eoin Morgan (four) fell into a hooking trap when a top-edge was held safely by Pat Cummins at fine leg.
Australia, who had lost 10 of their previous 11 ODIS against England, were in complete charge with the hosts now 26-3.
England have surged to the top of the ODI rankings on the back of aggressive run-scoring but the worry for Morgan’s men is that too many of their top-order appear to know only one way to bat. Jonny Bairstow, for example, fell next to a careless hook off Behrendorff before Stokes and Jos Buttler (25) repaired some of the damage with a fifth-wicket stand of 71.
Buttler was well caught by Usman Khawaja, running round and staying just inside the deep square leg boundary off Marcus Stoinis.
Stokes defiantly hit Glenn Maxwell for two sixes in three balls but, shortly before completing his fifty, the all-rounder pulled up with a calf injury.
Starc was brought back to take a key wicket and duly obliged with a thunderbolt yorker, his 18th wicket of the tournament, that ended Stokes’s 115-ball innings of 89, including eight fours and two sixes.
Stokes’s dismissal left England 177-6 in the 37th over and effectively ended the contest. Starc ended the match when he dismissed Adil Rashid.
Earlier Finch, dropped on 15, and fellow opener David Warner (53) came through some testing early overs to share a stand of 123 as too many of England’s pacemen, with the exception of Chris Woakes, dropped short.
The skipper’s exit sparked a late flurry of wickets but Australia had enough runs on the board.
Both Warner, the World Cup’s leading run-scorer, and Steve Smith were booed as they entered and exited the field following their recent return from year-long bans for ball-tampering.
Finch went to his century thanks to a misfield by Woakes but next ball he miscued a hook off Jofra Archer and Woakes held the catch at fine leg.
The skipper faced 116 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes in his second century of this World Cup following his 153 against Sri Lanka.


Pakistan’s Jamshed pleads guilty in UK bribery case

Updated 47 min 3 sec ago

Pakistan’s Jamshed pleads guilty in UK bribery case

  • 33-year-old former batsman is accused of conspiring to bribe PSL players to perform poorly
  • An undercover cop unearthed evidence by pretending to be a member of a corrupt betting syndicate

London: Former Pakistan batsman Nasir Jamshed pleaded guilty on Monday to a conspiracy to bribe fellow cricketers as part of a Twenty20 spot-fixing coup.
Jamshed, 33, had originally denied being involved in a plan focused on the Pakistan Super League but changed his plea during a court hearing in Manchester.
Two other men, Yousef Anwar, 36, and Mohammed Ijaz, 34, admitted last week to offering financial advantages to PSL players with the intention of inducing them to perform improperly by failing to play competitively in good faith.
All three will be sentenced on a date to be fixed in February.
Prosecutors told the court an undercover police officer had unearthed evidence by pretending to be a member of a corrupt betting syndicate.
The policeman’s efforts then led to the discovery of an attempted fix in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) late in 2016 and an actual fix in the PSL in February 2017.
In both cases, an opening batsman in the Twenty20 tournaments had agreed to not score runs from the first two balls of an over in return for payment.
Jamshed was said to be the target of bribery in Bangladesh before turning perpetrator as a go-between urging other players to spot-fix in a PSL match between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on February 9.
Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said later on Monday Anwar and Ijaz had developed a system by which they would charge £30,000 per fix ($39,450) per fix with half of the sum going to the player.
Ian McConnell, the NCA’s Senior Investigating Officer, said: “These men abused their privileged access to professional, international cricket to corrupt games, eroding public confidence for their own financial gain.
“Tackling corruption and bribery in its various forms is a priority for the National Crime Agency.
“We will vigorously pursue those involved and target their illicit profits which are so often used to fund further criminality.”
Spot-fixing involves rigging a specific aspect of a game on which bookmakers have offered odds, unlike match-fixing, where the whole result is fixed.
Jamshed has played Test, one-day and Twenty20 international cricket for Pakistan.