England beats Australia in second cricket World Cup semi-final

In the second semi-final game played today, England beat Australia. It does not really count as an upset since there is not a whole lot of difference in the skill sets and rankings of the two teams. But England had lost badly to Australia in their first round match and even lost to lowly Sri Lanka. Meanwhile Australia had won seven of their nine matches, most quite easily, losing only to the strong Indian team and to South Africa in their last game when they had already clinched a spot in the semi-final and the pressure was off. Australia was the in-form team and had also never lost a semi-final game in their seven previous appearances in the 11 tournaments held before the current one.

So Australia was favored to win this game but not overwhelmingly so. The real surprise was how easily England won.

Batting first, Australia scored a lowly 223 runs. But New Zealand managed to defend a similarly low score of 239 in their sensational semi-final win against India. Since Australia has a formidable bowling attack, it was by no means expected to be easy for England to reach that total. But they barely worked up a sweat and cruised to victory, knocking off the required runs in just 32 overs for the loss of only two wickets. Australia’s star bowler Mitchell Starc seemed to pose no terrors at all for the England batters and was punished heavily. Such are the vagaries of cricket.

So the final on Sunday will be between New Zealand and England, neither of whom have won the World Cup before. Previous winners have been West Indies (1975, 1979), India (1983, 2011), Pakistan (1992), Sri Lanka (1996), and Australia (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015).

England has been the losing finalist three times in 1979, 1987, and1992, while New Zealand was the losing finalist in 2015.

It is good for the game when the strength is spread around and that this final is now going to produce a new winner whatever the outcome is to be celebrated.


  1. DonDueed says

    Is there some reason why there was a 5-year interval between World Cups from 1987-92, then a three-year interval from 1996-99?

  2. file thirteen says

    I’m glad England won. Australia are full of confidence against us (New Zealand). They would keep cool heads and beat us easily. The worst part would be the boorish crowing that would inevitably follow.

    England will probably beat us too, but won’t be as obnoxious if they win, and we do have a slight chance.

  3. Roj Blake says

    Well done England.

    F13, if you wanted boorish, you got it with the way the crowd booed Steve Smith after his dismissal when he was the only Australian who performed according to his ability. Or anytime the All Blacks beat the Wallabies. 🙂

    Lived and worked in ChCh for 11 years, Kiwis could never understand why I had no interest in Rugby, a very minor sport in Oz. I, on the other hand, well understood why they never wanted to talk cricket. 🙂


  4. file thirteen says


    No way, we are humble as! I’ll talk cricket now if you want bro. 🙂

  5. xohjoh2n says


    This answer seems to suggest that the differences are an illusion, and that the inter-tournament gaps are vaguely similarish:


    But this one says that the 1992 tournament *had* been intended to be in 1991, but was delayed due to mismanagement by the hosts:


    OTOH the wikipedia talk page says that in fact it was kind of held at the right time, but that being in the southern hemisphere the playing season spans the new year. So it was held in the right *season*, just that the arbitrary division of one year into the next just happened to fall on that side of it that time.


    The suggestion from one of the above is that 1999 was just returning to form: they couldn’t do so for 1996 because that wouldn’t have given enough time to plan for the shorter than normal interval, but 7 years warning gave them the room to do so.

    I had wondered, since SA were readmitted post-apartheid in late 1991, whether the delay was specifically so they could compete then rather than having to wait an additional 4 years. One of the later quora answers seems to suggest this too, along with the Gulf War being a factor.

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