Josh Hazlewood will replace the rested James Pattinson in the second Ashes Test, Australia coach Justin Langer confirmed after day one at Lord's was washed out.

Pattinson played his first Test in over three years in the opening match of the series at Edgbaston after injury issues had hampered his international career.

Despite their impressive victory in Birmingham, the tourists have looked at the bigger picture by giving the paceman a rest in London, Langer announcing Hazlewood - who has had injury troubles of his own of late - has got the nod over Mitchell Starc in the final XI.

Langer said of Hazlewood: "He's got an outstanding record. He's built up over the past few months. He missed out on the World Cup because we felt he hadn't played much cricket.

"We know he's an outstanding bowler, we know that the style of play against England that at his best he should execute those plans really well.

"He has bowled well the last couple of weeks and we hope he does a good job this Test match."

Persistent rain prevented a ball from being bowled on Wednesday and although the forecast is more promising for day two, more bad weather is expected later in the week.

Jofra Archer will make his Test debut for England after the paceman was presented with his cap by close friend and Sussex team-mate Chris Jordan.

Tim Paine has explained the decision to rest James Pattinson for the second Ashes Test is to look after the Australia paceman's long-term prospects.

Pattinson contributed to a 251-run win over England at Edgbaston in the series opener, but he was left out of a 12-man squad on Tuesday for the second contest at Lord's.

However, given Pattinson's past injury problems - his appearance in the opening Test was his first in five-ball cricket since February 2016 - Paine insists Australia were not willing to take a risk.

The tourists' captain told the media Pattinson was always likely to have to miss a match at some stage and the opportunity to bring in either Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood made the decision easier.

"We have two world-class bowlers on the sidelines and we want to make sure that James is absolutely cherry ripe every time he plays," Paine told a news conference.

"He's available for selection, but we've decided to rest him for this game to make sure that his long-term future is in really good shape.

"It was always going to be one way or the other. He would either miss this Test and be fresher for the third Test, or he has this one after the long break and doesn't play the third.

"I think if you look at Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood's records at Lord's, that's a good venue for one of them to come in and play and be confident in the fact that they can bowl really well here."

Given Australia's strength in depth, England captain Joe Root expected such a call was likely to be made at some point.

"I was and I wasn't [surprised]," he said. "With the squad of bowlers they have, over the course of a five-match series, they are going to chop and change things over, try to find different formulas for different surfaces and conditions.

"I'm not surprised they've gone with those two added to the squad."

James Pattinson has been left out by Australia for the second Ashes Test, with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood included in the 12-man squad. 

Pattinson returned to the Test fold for the first time since 2016 in the series opener, having dealt with a number of injury problems in recent years.

The paceman claimed 2-82 and 0-29, as well as contributing a handy unbeaten 47 in the second innings after a first-innings duck, as Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston.

However, despite being available for selection, the tourists have opted against calling on Pattinson again at Lord's, with the second Test beginning on Wednesday.

A short statement accompanying the team announcement suggested the schedule and his injury history had seen him rested.

Starc and Hazlewood each made the 17-man squad for the opening clash but missed out on the XI. At least one of them will now feature at Lord's.

 

Australia squad for second Test: Tim Paine, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Tim Paine says Australia's drawn tour match with Worcestershire was not Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood's audition for the second Ashes Test.

Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Peter Siddle got the nod along with Nathan Lyon as pace duo Starc and Hazlewood missed out for a series-opening win over England at Edgbaston.

Starc and Cummins were back in action for the three-day tour match at New Road this week, taking 2-56 and 3-34 respectively in Worcestershire's 201-9.

The quicks were unable to make any further impact on the final day as only 13 overs were bowled due to rain, with Marcus Harris making 67 and Mitchell Marsh unbeaten on 39.

Australia captain Paine says the experienced Starc and Hazlewood did not have a point to prove against the Pears ahead of the Lord's Test, which starts next Wednesday.

Paine said: "We knew that any combination of our bowlers can get the job done. We've got some high-quality bowlers on this tour, today wasn't about seeing anything that we hadn't seen from those guys before in this match.

"We know how good the guys sitting on the sidelines are. They'll play a part in the Ashes, if and when the conditions suit. 

"We weren't looking at Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc thinking, 'I hope they bowl well'. We know how good they are and what they can do.

"Mitch is obviously coming off a World Cup, so it's good for him to get another red-ball bowl. Josh has said he feels every time he's bowled on this tour, after a long lay-off, he's got better.

"I thought both of their first spells here were really good and Michael Neser the same, in English conditions with the Dukes ball he can be a real handful."

On Friday, England tweaked their squad as they look to level the series in London.

Left-arm spinner Jack Leach replaced the out-of-sorts Moeen Ali, while World Cup star Jofra Archer is in line for a Test debut in place of the injured James Anderson (calf).

Australia have left out Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood for the first Ashes Test against England, in which the tourists will bat first after winning the toss at Edgbaston.

The exclusion of Starc, the Cricket World Cup's leading wicket-taker, had been predicted in the days leading up to the series opener, but Hazlewood also missed out on selection.

Australia captain Tim Paine confirmed at the toss that James Pattinson and Peter Siddle had got the nod to partner Pat Cummins in his pace attack. Pattinson will be making his first Test appearance since February 2016 after returning from radical back surgery, while Siddle returns having impressed for Essex in the English County Championship.

Starc has struggled to produce his best form in recent red-ball action, but leaving him out still represents something of a gamble from Australia given his outstanding performances during the World Cup in England and Wales.

"It's difficult to leave them out," said Paine of Starc and Hazlewood. "They've been quality performers for a long time but they're going to play a part in the series."

As expected, Cameron Bancroft ousts Marcus Harris at the top of the order, the former returning to the Test arena along with David Warner and Steve Smith following the trio's bans for their roles in last year's ball-tampering scandal. Matthew Wade was picked to bat at six, ahead of Mitchell Marsh.

England named their team on Wednesday. The fit-again James Anderson, who turned 37 on Tuesday, has been included but there is no place for Jofra Archer.

Home skipper Root will bat at number three, having previously expressed a preference for coming in at four.

The opening day's play looked set to start on schedule at 11am local time, but afternoon showers were forecast in Birmingham.

 

England: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (captain), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (captain), James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon.

The dust is still settling on a truly remarkable Cricket World Cup final at Lord's, where England edged New Zealand in enthralling fashion.

The hosts could only muster the same amount of runs as the Black Caps and actually produced fewer wickets, yet Eoin Morgan's men still scraped home on the boundary countback after a dramatic Super Over.

Statistics counted in England's favour on Sunday and they predictably led the way in a number of metrics as we look back on the tournament as a whole.

Using Opta data, we highlight the most outstanding figures from an incredible few weeks.

 

6 - Victory at Lord's on Sunday saw England claim their first World Cup title, becoming the sixth different team to win the competition.

12 - Meanwhile, New Zealand, beaten in such agonising fashion, are the team to have appeared at the most tournaments without getting their hands on the trophy.

22 - Ben Stokes saw a couple of bizarre sixes fall his way in the final, but team-mate and captain Morgan hit the most maximums at the 2019 finals.

4 - Four players this year passed the 1000-run mark for their World Cup careers. Virat Kohli (1,030), Shakib al Hasan (1,146) and the retiring Chris Gayle (1,186) were joined by Ross Taylor (1,002) on Sunday.

4.15 - Of the 48 players to bowl at least 40 overs, Colin de Grandhomme boasted the best economy rate. It was an outstanding 2.50 in the final.

648 - Rohit Sharma recorded the most runs at the 2019 tournament - the third most at a single World Cup - while no player in history can match his five centuries at a single edition.

27 - Mitchell Starc was also a record-breaker, with his wicket tally never bettered at a World Cup. After tying Trent Boult in 2015, he was on top of the pile again.

371 - Jofra Archer's inability to slow New Zealand in the Super Over almost cost England, but he contributed more dot balls than another bowler at the tournament. Boult, his Super Over rival, was second (351).

0 - His work with the bat in the final - intentional and otherwise - made Stokes the hero, yet he was also the only man to bowl at least 30 overs at the World Cup and not be hit for a six.

13 - England had a whole host of heroes throughout the tournament and Test captain Joe Root made more catches as a non-wicketkeeper than any player in the history of the World Cup.

21 - Including the men in the gloves, Tom Latham got 21 fielding dismissals - matching Adam Gilchrist's 2003 record.

Mitchell Starc set a new record for wickets taken at a single Cricket World Cup when he dismissed England's Jonny Bairstow at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The Australia left-arm quick came into the semi-final having claimed 26 victims in his prior nine matches at the tournament, the same number as compatriot Glenn McGrath picked up at the 2007 edition.

Starc's haul included the 4-43 he took in the group-stage defeat of England at Lord's and he set the new benchmark by trapping Bairstow lbw for 34.

There was little cause for celebration for Starc, though, as that left England 124-1 in the 18th over after bowling Australia out for just 223.

Joe Root sent three of Starc's next four deliveries to the boundary, leaving the paceman with figures of 1-50 after five overs and England seemingly on course to set up a final showdown with New Zealand at Lord's.

Tournament hosts England face off against Ashes rivals Australia in a blockbuster Cricket World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Damaging losses to Sri Lanka and Australia left England fearing the worst for their last-four hopes, but an impressive response with wins over India and New Zealand booked their ticket to the knockout stages.

Australia's passage was far more serene, apart from a loss to India and an unexpected defeat to South Africa in their final group game, as the defending champions chase a sixth World Cup title.

Just over two weeks ago, it was Australia celebrating at Lord's as Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc tore through England's batting order to seal victory despite Ben Stokes' valiant 89.

But Edgbaston has not been a happy hunting ground for Australia, with their last win at the venue in any format coming in a 2001 Test match. England have won three straight ODIs against their opponents in Birmingham, too.

History is not exactly on England's side, though, with their last Cricket World Cup win against Australia coming back in 1992 when Ian Botham stole the show, taking 4-31 with the ball and contributing 53 with the bat.

New Zealand, who defeated India in a rain-delayed semi-final at Old Trafford that spanned across two days, await in the final.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

A shock loss to Sri Lanka preceded England again falling short against Australia but the triumphs over India and New Zealand showed their mettle as they lived up to their billing as pre-tournament favourites. Australia missed out on top spot after losing to South Africa in their final group game but largely impressed during the group stages, Starc leading the wicket-taking list with 26.

WHAT THEY SAID

England captain Eoin Morgan on the team's return to form: "I think we're probably more confident than we were three games ago. I think we are probably a different team that played four games ago and three games ago. I think the loss against Sri Lanka hurt us. It was an overhang into the Lord's game and then when we came here we managed to produce something similar to the cricket we have been playing over the last four years and that was really encouraging."

Australia skipper Aaron Finch on his country's World Cup record: "I think World Cups are very special, they bring out the best in the best players, so I think that's why Australia have had a very rich history in World Cups. I mean, winning four of the last five, it's been a great achievement."

OPTA FACTS

- England have won 10 of the last 12 ODIs between the countries, though one of their two defeats in that run came at Lord's earlier in this tournament.
- Starc needs one more wicket to set a record for the most taken at a single World Cup - he sits level with Glenn McGrath's tally of 26 from 2007.
- Steve Smith has only managed to record one half-century in his last 10 ODI innings against England, though that solitary 50 did come at Edgbaston (2017). He has been dismissed five times by Adil Rashid in the 50-over format.
- Australia have been involved in seven previous World Cup semi-finals and have progressed to the final every time. 

The Cricket World Cup group stage is over and the build-up to the semi-finals is under way.

Group winners India will take on New Zealand at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with hosts England facing rivals Australia at Edgbaston two days later.

With the feast of cricket coming towards its conclusion, we take a look back at some of the stats from the first round with the help of Opta.

 

BATSMEN

Most runs

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 647
2. David Warner (Australia) 638
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 606
4. Aaron Finch (Australia) 507
5. Joe Root (England) 500

Batting averages

1. Kane Williamson (New Zealand) 96.20
2. Rohit Sharma (India) 92.42
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 86.57
4. David Warner (Australia) 79.75
5. Samiullah Shinwari (Afghanistan) 74.00

Fours

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 67
2. David Warner (Australia) 64
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 60
4. Jonny Bairstow (England) 55
5. Babar Azam (Pakistan) 50

Sixes

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 22
2. Aaron Finch (Australia) 18
3. Rohit Sharma (India) 14
4. Chris Gayle (West Indies) 12
5. Jonny Bairstow (England) 11

Fastest hundreds (by deliveries)

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 57 v Afghanistan
2. Jos Buttler (England) 75 v Pakistan
3. Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies) 80 v New Zealand
4. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 83 v West Indies
5. Rohit Sharma (India) 95 v Pakistan

BOWLERS

Most wickets

1. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 26
2. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 20
=3. Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand) 17
=3. Jaspirt Bumrah (India) 17
=3. Mohammad Amir (Pakistan) 17
=3. Jofra Archer (England) 17

Economy rate (from seven or more innings)

1. Colin de Grandhomme (New Zealand) 4.46
2. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan) 4.47
3. Jasprit Bumrah (India) 4.48
4. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 4.61
5. Ben Stokes (England) 4.65

Dot balls

1. Jofra Archer (England) 300
2. Pat Cummins (Australia) 295
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 288
4. Trent Boult (New Zealand) 284
5. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) 273

Sixes conceded

1. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) 14
2. Yuzvendra Chahal (India) 13
=3. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 10
=3. Adil Rashid (England) 10
=5. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 9
=5. Dawlat Zadran (Afghanistan) 9
=5. Glenn Maxwell (Australia) 9

Runs conceded

1. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 483
2. Adil Rashid (England) 433
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 432
4. Gulbadin Naib (Afghanistan) 419
5. Mohammad Saifuddin (Bangladesh) 417

After five arduous weeks, the Cricket World Cup group stage has reached its climax and four teams are left standing.

Hosts and pre-tournament favourites England briefly flirted with a disappointing early exit before rallying to beat India and New Zealand and reach the last four.

Lying in wait are old rivals Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday, while India and New Zealand will do battle first in Manchester in two days' time.

But before we sit back and take in the final acts of a hugely enjoyable tournament, let's review the thrills and spills (and a couple of comedy moments) of an enthralling group stage.

 

Rihanna delights in Durham

Over a decade ago, Rihanna's smash hit 'Umbrella' enjoyed an extended stay at the top of the UK album charts but there was no need for the brollies at Durham as West Indies faced off with Sri Lanka.

Unfortunately, the Barbados-born popstar saw the Windies beaten by 23 runs, but there was a tearful reunion with assistant coach Roddy Eastwick – a former school teacher of Rihanna's. 


Bees create buzz at The Riverside

An unbroken 175-run stand between Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis stung Sri Lanka at The Riverside.

But it was a swarm of bees that created quite the buzz on social media. The honey-loving insects caused a sudden delay, with players having to hit the deck to take evasive action.


Roy clatters Wilson

We are very, very, very sorry Joel Wilson…but this was undoubtedly hilarious.

Jason Roy brought up a century in England's beating of Bangladesh but, while tracking the progress of the ball, did not see the poor, unaware umpire who was completely clattered by the opener in comical scenes.

Once back to his feet, a slightly sheepish Wilson saw the funny side.


Bairstow answers critics head on

England's defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia drew plenty of criticism at home, not least from Michael Vaughan, which led to an unsavoury back-and-forth with Jonny Bairstow.

But Bairstow responded in impressive fashion, making centuries against India and New Zealand to help England progress to the last four.

Celebrating that latter century, Bairstow rubbed his hair in a seemingly light-hearted jibe at Vaughan's previous treatment to bolster his hairline.


Stokes or Woakes?

Two stunning catches, but who did it better – Ben Stokes or Chris Woakes?

All-rounder Stokes plucked a stunning one-hander in the deep off Andile Phehlukwayo in the tournament's opening match between England and South Africa at The Oval.

Not to be outdone, Woakes took a brilliant full-length dive on the boundary to send Rishabh Pant packing in England's much-needed win over India. Superman, eat your heart out.


Hat-trick heroes

Afghanistan had the chance for a famous upset against India at the Rose Bowl. Twelve runs were needed off four deliveries…enter Mohammed Shami.

The paceman took the vital wicket of dangerman Mohammad Nabi and followed up with the scalps of Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to end Afghanistan's hopes. Three wickets in three balls.

New Zealand lost out to trans-Tasman rivals Australia at Lord's, but Trent Boult had individual reason to celebrate with a hat-trick of his own.

A stunning finish in the final over of Australia's innings saw Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff fall to full, in-swinging deliveries.

Boult, who has donated the ball to the MCC Museum, had to endure a nervy wait after a Behrendorff review.


Starc brilliance takes down Stokes

England made a dismal start in their pursuit of 286 against Australia at Lord's, slumping to 53-4.

Ben Stokes' courageous 89 threatened a fightback at the Home of Cricket. That was until Mitchell Starc's unplayable yorker swung in late to rattle the base of the stumps to end Stokes' resilience and England's chances of victory.


Pakistan deny Afghanistan

Afghanistan finished without a point after the group games but will rue a couple of missed opportunities – not least versus Pakistan, who slumped to 156-6 chasing 228 at Headingley. 

But captain Gulbadin Naib gave up 18 costly runs in the 46th over and Pakistan edged home with a couple of balls to spare against the underdogs in a dramatic finale.


Farewell Chris

Chris Gayle's final World Cup did not exactly go to plan. The explosive batsman made 242 runs from nine innings as West Indies – fancied by many to challenge – crashed out.

His final knock against Afghanistan yielded just seven runs, but there was time for some typical flamboyance when the charismatic Gayle celebrated a low catch with some press-ups.

A tidy turn with his occasional off-spin also yielded 1-28 and the 39-year-old lapped up the acclaim at stumps.

Ryan Harris has hailed Aaron Finch's "outstanding" captaincy and believes Ricky Ponting helped the in-form Australia captain to "flick the switch" at the Cricket World Cup.

Finch was under pressure as he struggled due to a lack of runs against India at the start of this year, on the back of being axed from the Test side.

The opener showed his class in an ODI series whitewash of Pakistan in March and has lit up the World Cup, blasting two hundreds and three half-centuries at the top of the order for the holders in England.

Only opening partner David Warner has more than Finch's tally of 504 runs in the tournament, laying the foundations and leading his side superbly to the semi-finals with seven wins out of eight.

The defending champions are top with one group game remaining against South Africa and former Australia paceman Harris says the skipper should take huge credit.

Harris told Omnisport: "He's been pretty impressive for a while now. He's been through some pretty average times, form-wise, but you would not have known it.

"The way he has led the side has been outstanding, through good or bad he's able to do it very well.

"There were people calling for his head when he wasn't making a lot of runs against India and he's done a bit of work, flicked the switch and look where he is now - it's just amazing.

"He's done work with [Australia assistant coach] Ricky Ponting and it's great to see him get the rewards for what he has done and his captaincy has also been outstanding."

Harris also praised paceman Mitchell Starc, the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 24 dismissals after claiming outstanding figures of 5-26 in an 86-run drubbing of New Zealand at Lord's on Saturday.

"Starcy has copped a fair bit of criticism, about him not being able to do what he used to be able to do with a white ball, and he's answered that so well," Harris added.

 

Trent Boult's historic hat-trick was in vain as Mitchell Starc starred again at Lord's in Australia's 86-run Cricket World Cup thrashing of trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand on Saturday.

The Black Caps would have joined Australia in the last four with a win in London, but they could now face a win-or-bust encounter with England in their final group match at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday.

Boult (4-51) became the first New Zealand player to take a World Cup hat-trick, restricting Australia to 243-9 after Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bat on a testing surface in a repeat of the 2015 final.

Usman Khawaja (88) and Alex Carey (71) ensured the holders gave their bowlers something to defend, with Lockie Ferguson and Jimmy Neesham taking two wickets apiece on a glorious afternoon.

Kane Williamson became the third-fastest to 6,000 ODI runs and top-scored with 40, but New Zealand collapsed to 157 all out in the day-night contest to suffer a second defeat of the tournament.

The brilliant Starc (5-26) claimed his seventh five-wicket ODI haul and Jason Behrendorff (2-31) also did damage as Australia - already assured of a semi-final spot - moved three points clear of India at the top of the table.

New Zealand lead England, down to fifth after Pakistan's win over Afghanistan, by three points and the hosts have a game in hand against India at Edgbaston on Sunday.

GUPTILL MAKES AMENDS WITH SCREAMER

Martin Guptill has two of the safest hands in the game, but the opener put down a tough one-handed catch to get rid of the in-form Finch before Australia were off the mark.

That did not prove to be costly, as Boult snared the in-form captain for only eight, but Guptill also put Khawaja down on nought at second slip.

Guptill made partial amends with a spectacular one-handed diving grab for Ferguson - who got David Warner with a rapid short ball - to remove Steve Smith for only five at leg gully. Neesham also pulled off a pearler of a catch to dismiss Glenn Maxwell, putting Australia deeper in the mire on 92-5.

 

BOULT FROM THE BLUE

Khawaja and Carey came to the rescue with a stand of 107, the wicketkeeper-batsman the aggressor, hitting 11 fours, as his fellow left-hander batted with great application, sweeping expertly and rotating the strike well.

Part-time bowler Williamson ended the partnership, Guptill taking another catch to see the back of Carey, but Khawaja hung around before Boult's magical final over.

The left-armer quick yorked Khawaja and Mitchell Starc - giving his fellow paceman a taste of his own medicine with a peach of a delivery - and made history by trapping Jason Behrendorff for a magnificent hat-trick.

 

STARC SPARKLES, SMITH STRIKES AS BLACK CAPS FOLD

Paceman Starc led the way with 4-43 in Australia's defeat of England on Tuesday and the tournament's leading wicket-taker excelled again on the same ground.

New Zealand never really got going and folded after Williamson (40) and Ross Taylor (30) departed, Starc seeing the back of the skipper as well as Tom Latham - to an outstanding catch from Smith - and Ish Sodhi.

Starc was on a hat-trick when he cleaned up Ferguson and although Boult kept it out, New Zealand were put out of their misery when the hostile fast bowler dismissed Mitchell Santner.

Behrendorff earlier had Guptill leg before for only 20 and Henry Nicholls caught behind, while Smith had Colin de Grandhomme caught first ball in the deep on a grim evening for New Zealand.

England were undone by the leader of a pace attack for the second time in the space of four days as their World Cup semi-final hopes suffered a further blow at Lord's. However, rather than it being one in the twilight of his career, it was a bowler at the peak of his powers.

Lasith Malinga's performance in Sri Lanka's stunning win at Headingley on Friday felt like a parting gift from a player heading for international retirement. Starc's showing, in which he joined Malinga in helping prevent England chase down a sub-300 total, was more of an ominous message to those hoping to dethrone Australia as world champions.

Those rivals did not need a reminder of Starc's pedigree as the best fast bowler on the planet, but he delivered one anyway.

Jason Behrendorff will take plenty of acclaim with a five-wicket haul, while there is also sure to be significant rumination over the decision-making of England's batsmen when chasing such a modest score, with Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler dismissed via questionable shots.

Yet there can be no doubt of the quality of Starc's pivotal 4-43. An inswinging length ball did for Joe Root and, though his dismissal of Morgan came as a result of a rash shot, it is the glorious way in which he ended Ben Stokes' brave resistance that will live long in the memory.

Stokes was gaining steam towards a century and serving as the glue holding together an unlikely England fightback from 53-4 in pursuit of 286. The all-rounder had been growing increasingly emphatic in his treatment of the other members of the Australia attack but there was nothing he could about the ball that ended his stay 11 runs shy of a first ODI hundred since June 2017.

Starc produced a superb yorker that swung into the base of the off stump and left Stokes kicking his bat in frustration. Afterwards, though, he seemed to accept it was a delivery he could do little about.

"It was a good ball, yeah," Stokes told reporters. "Ninety miles per hour reverse-swing yorker," he added with a nervous smile.

Nervous would be an understandable emotion for England and the other contenders to be feeling with Starc in this kind of form.

"I'm in a really good place, physically, mentally and with my cricket and just loving being part of this group and contributing to the group as well," Starc said.

"There's going to be times where it doesn't go too well but I'm playing cricket for Australia with a group of great guys so life's not too bad."

To say life's not too bad may be putting it mildly. After being named player of the tournament in the last World Cup, Starc is now the leading wicket-taker in this one with 19 and has a sensational average of just 21.07 in ODI cricket.

And, worryingly for everyone else, Starc believes he and Australia are capable of even more as they look ahead to the semi-finals with their last-four spot already sewn up.

"I said before, it's a great feeling amongst the group," Starc added. "It's been a lot of fun at the last World Cup and again in this World Cup to have a group with a lot of smiles on their faces.

"We're playing some really good cricket but we're still searching for that complete performance. We're building nicely for the back end."

Few could argue with that assessment and, with Starc firing, many may be reconsidering England's status as tournament favourites and attaching that moniker to Australia instead. 

This World Cup was supposed to be the one where the top-ranked ODI side completed a journey to their first 50-over world title. However, thanks to Starc and a bowling unit now with added depth through the inclusion of Behrendorff, their Ashes rivals are threatening to tear up the script.

Australia became the first team to seal a spot in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals as captain Aaron Finch hit a century and Jason Behrendorff claimed 5-44 to consign England to a second straight loss.

The reigning champions secured a sixth win from seven games by claiming a 64-run triumph at Lord's, Finch scoring 100 in their 285-7 before Australia's seamers starred, dismissing England for 221 inside 45 overs.

Finch was part of a 123-run opening stand with David Warner (53) but Australia did not build on their early momentum having been 185-2 in the 36th over, with middle-order trio Steve Smith (38), Glenn Maxwell (12) and Marcus Stoinis (8) all unable to kick on.

Having failed to chase down 233 in a 20-run loss to Sri Lanka four days earlier, England's semi-final aspirations took another big blow as they once again came up short, despite more heroics from Ben Stokes (89).

The recalled Behrendorff set the tone by bowling James Vince (0) with the innings' second ball and though he took five wickets for the first time in an ODI, it was Mitchell Starc (4-43) who crucially ended Stokes' knock - and effectively England's hopes - with a brilliant yorker.

 

STARC SENDS BACK SUPER STOKES

Having looked like the man who might drag his team over the line against Sri Lanka at Headingley, Stokes was again bidding to be the hero at the Home of Cricket.

Coming in with England 26-3 in the sixth over, Stokes' approach to come down the track to the seamers was paying dividends until Starc cleaned him up with a full delivery that ducked in late.

Stokes, who made an unbeaten 82 against Sri Lanka, had put on two half-century partnerships with Jos Buttler (71 for the fifth wicket) and Chris Woakes (53 for the sixth wicket) but England's hopes went with him, Starc later taking his tally to a tournament-leading 19 wickets.

FAR FROM IN-VINCE-IBLE

England opener Vince made a third successive appearance due to Jason Roy's lingering hamstring problem, and it might just be his last.

A scoreless Vince was bowled through the gate by an inswinger from Behrendorff when attempting to drive as the hosts suffered a disastrous start, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan both fell in single figures too. It was a position they were unable to ever fully recover from.

This was Vince's 11th ODI innings and he has passed 50 just once. England will be hoping Roy is able to return against India on Sunday for what has now become a crucial fixture.

Australia captain Aaron Finch smashed the joint-highest score of the 2019 Cricket World Cup before the competition's leading wicket-taker Mitchell Starc returned 4-55 in an 87-run victory over Sri Lanka at The Oval. 

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