Australia ‘outplayed’ by England in World Cup semifinal says Finch, as hosts cruise to Lord’s NZ showdown

England’s captain Eoin Morgan, left, hugs teammate Joe Root to celebrate their win over Australia in the Cricket World Cup semifinal match at Edgbaston in Birmingham to set up a final with New Zealand at Lord’s. (AP)
Updated 11 July 2019

Australia ‘outplayed’ by England in World Cup semifinal says Finch, as hosts cruise to Lord’s NZ showdown

  • Losing to their arch-rivals in front of a gleeful Edgbaston crowd was painful way for Australia to lose their crown
  • Finch, who was out for a duck, conceded England had been far superior

EDGBASTON, Birmingham: Australia captain Aaron Finch admitted his side were “outplayed” by England after the World Cup holders saw their reign ended in a semifinal thumping on Thursday.
Despite winning the toss and batting first, Finch’s team were humbled as they collapsed to 223 all out before allowing England to sweep to victory in just 32.1 overs.
Losing to their arch-rivals in front of a gleeful Edgbaston crowd was a painful way for Australia to surrender the trophy they had won four times in the past five tournaments.
But Finch, who was out for a duck, conceded England had been far superior.
“We were totally outplayed today. We expected the new ball to seam a little but they bowled a great length, hitting the stumps a lot,” Finch said.
“We had to have a lot things go right for us. We had to take our chances and bowl them out.
“We tried to take wickets but when you are aggressive with the ball and they are aggressive with the bat, things can happen very quickly.”
England openers Jason Roy, who hit 85 from 65 balls, and Jonny Bairstow, who made 34, took the game away from Australia with a superb 124-run partnership for the first wicket.
“They played exceptionally well. We know how dominant they are when they get on top. You’ve got a very good cricket team in England,” Finch said.
Although Australia had beaten England easily in the group stage at Lord’s, they were a shadow of the team that eased into the semifinals with seven wins from nine matches.
For just the second time in the past seven World Cups, Australia have failed to make the final, but Finch said he was proud of his team’s efforts 12 months after they were crushed 5-0 by England in a one-day international series.
“We have a lot of positives from the campaign. We’ve come a long way from when we were in England a year ago,” he said.
“We came here thinking we could win the tournament. We’ve had backs to the wall and character shown and I’m proud of how the group have progressed but it still hurts.”


Australian Open: Top-ranked Ash Barty a step closer to ending Aussie drought

Updated 28 January 2020

Australian Open: Top-ranked Ash Barty a step closer to ending Aussie drought

  • Barty aiming to be the first Australian woman since Chris O’Neill in 1978 to win the Australian Open
  • She won her first title on home soil in Adelaide in the lead-up to this season’s first major

MELBOURNE, Australia: Top-ranked Ash Barty is a step closer to ending a long drought for Aussies at the national championship.
Barty saved set points in the 11th game and another in the tiebreaker before seizing the momentum against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in a 7-6 (6), 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena. She next faces No. 14 Sofia Kenin, who reached the semifinals at a major for the first time with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 78-ranked Ons Jabeur.
Barty fended off eight of the nine break-point chances she faced in the first set before finally getting the upper hand when she won a 22-shot rally, defending for much of it just to stay in the point, at 3-2 in the tiebreaker.
After clinching the first set in 69 minutes, she went on a roll to take a 4-0 lead in the second and take all the momentum away from Kvitova, who beat Barty here at the same stage last year before losing the final to Naomi Osaka.
Barty rebounded from that to win her first major title at the French Open, where she beat Kenin in the fourth round. Until she arrived in Australia, Kenin’s run at Roland Garros — which included a third-round upset over Serena Williams — was her best at a Grand Slam.
There’s a lot of local expectation riding on Barty, who is aiming to be the first Australian woman since Chris O’Neill in 1978 to win the Australian Open. The first major of the decade may see the end of the 42-year wait, and an Australian man hasn’t won since 1976. Barty is already the first Australian woman since 1984 to reach the semifinals of the home Open.
Barty doesn’t expect to feel the pressure. She won her first title on home soil in Adelaide in the lead-up to this season’s first major.
“I’m not going to have anything but a smile on my face when I walk out onto this court,” Barty said of her next match.
Kenin and Jabeur were both into the quarterfinals for the first time at a major.
For Kenin, who was born in Moscow but moved to the United States as a baby and grew up in Florida, the degree of difficulty will only increase.
“I’m in the semis,” she said, when asked for her preference of semifinal rival. “Anyone I play, they’re playing really well.”
Kenin is playing her best tennis, too. Her best previous run at Melbourne Park ended in the second round, when she lost to Simona Halep last year.
She finished last year ranked 14th, and could match Barty in one category: they were tied for most hard-court wins on the women’s tour last year with 38 wins each.
Kenin’s run here included a comeback win in the third round against 15-year-old Coco Gauff, when she made only nine unforced errors across the second and third sets.
In the second set against Jabeur, she saved three break points in a long sixth game, then broke serve in the seventh game to set up the win.
“It was a tough moment,” Kenin said. “I didn’t know it was 10 minutes (but) it was pretty long, the game. After that I got my momentum.”
Jabeur, a 25-year-old Tunisian, was the first Arab woman to make it to the last eight at a major.
“Ï think I proved that I can be in the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam, even if I have a lot of things to improve probably physically and mentally,” she said. “But I’m happy that I pushed through a lot of things. I proved to myself that I could do a lot of great things.”
In later men’s quarterfinals, 20-time major winner Roger Federer was playing 100th-ranked Tennys Sandgren, and seven-time Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic had a night match against Milos Raonic of Canada.