Aussie Agony After Humiliating Loss In World Cup Semi-Final
Australia's World Cup defence is over after England handed them an eight-wicket flogging in Thursday's semi-final to book their spot in the decider against New Zealand.
All out for just 223 with the bat at Edgbaston, Australia watched on as England put on a clinic in one-day cricket to chase the target down in 32.1 overs.
The win means either England or New Zealand will become just the sixth country to win a World Cup in Sunday's final at Lord's.
The decider will be just the third in 32 years not to feature Australia, with the Aussies having also won four of the past five tournaments.
Unbeaten in a World Cup semi-final before Thursday, Australia started well when David Warner hit the first ball of the match for four.
But it was their only real moment of joy as Jofra Archer (2-32) and Chris Woakes (3-20) rocked their top order.
Aaron Finch fell lbw to Archer for a first-ball duck, Woakes nicked off Warner on nine and then bowled Peter Handscomb for four.
By that stage Australia were 3-14, and it was left to Steve Smith to lead a recovery mission.
The former captain posted his highest score of the tournament with 85, but only Alex Carey (46) provided any real support in a 103-run fourth-wicket stand.
When Carey holed out on the legside boundary to Adil Rashid (3-54), Marcus Stoinis (0) and Glenn Maxwell (22) soon followed.
But while Australia's batsmen struggled with the pace and bounce of the wicket to be all out in the penultimate over, England's chase was a comparative cakewalk.
Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy put on 124 for the first wicket inside 18 overs, taking the game away from Australia with their customary early power hitting.
Roy at one stage hit Steve Smith for three sixes down the ground in one over, including one that went high into the top tier of stands.
By the time Mitchell Starc had Bairstow lbw on 34, a jovial home crowd were already breaking into a chorus of songs and celebrations.
That party was only briefly stopped when Roy was given out caught behind off Pat Cummins on 85, only for replays to show he'd clearly missed the ball.
Roy attempted to have the decision reviewed, only for his request to at first be granted but then denied when it was pointed out Bairstow had already used up the referral.
The opener remonstrated with the umpires on the way from the field, and could face a charge of dissent over the incident following his wonderful 65-ball knock.
However, it mattered little as Joe Root (49) and Eoin Morgan (45) took England to victory and within touching distance of their maiden title.
Meanwhile, for Australia, the World Cup will be looked at in mixed terms, given their struggles prior to the tournament.
But they still sat first entering the final round before finishing with two straight losses.