Cricket World Cup matchday 28: Race for semi-final spots tightens

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Australia became the first team to guarantee a place in the knockout phase of the World Cup, damaging England’s prospects in the process with a 64-run win at Lord’s.

A second century of the tournament for captain Aaron Finch and nine wickets shared between left-arm quicks Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc guaranteed the reigning champions a semi-final place but left England nursing a third defeat from seven.

New Zealand can join their Antipodean neighbours in the last four with a sixth win of the tournament over Pakistan at Edgbaston on Wednesday, with England willing them on.

With games against India and the Black Caps still to come, the hosts do not want Pakistan or Bangladesh to build a head of steam.

Tweet of the day

Mitchell Starc’s wife, the Australia Women’s wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, revealed a home supporter got the paceman’s competitive juices flowing on the morning of the match.

Snap shot

Victory over England had Australia's Steve Smith jumping for joy at Lord's.
Victory over England had Australia’s Steve Smith jumping for joy at Lord’s (Tim Goode/PA)

CRICKET WorldCup Wrap
(PA Graphics)

Today: New Zealand v Pakistan, 10:30 (Edgbaston)

One to watch

Babar Azam. The aesthetically pleasing Pakistan batsman has not pulled up trees at the competition so far, with a top score of 69 and a modest strike-rate of just 87. But he is a class act and if anyone is going to throw the Black Caps off their game and throw open the race for fourth, it could well be the man from Lahore.


CRICKET WorldCup Wrap
(PA Graphics)

England football manager Gareth Southgate (top left) was in attendance at Lord's.
England football manager Gareth Southgate, top left, was in attendance at Lord’s (Adam Davy/PA)

Quote of the day

The captain was taking the optimistic view ahead of England’s last two group games.

Stat attack

Top shot

Aaron Finch hit Moeen Ali for the first six of the day.
Aaron Finch hit Moeen Ali for the first six of the day (Adam Davy/PA)

Bowled over

Selected ahead of Nathan Coulter-Nile, the Western Australia paceman announced himself in style when offered the chance to open the bowling on his first appearance at Lord’s. After one range-finder he conjured a wonderful inswinging yorker that would have cleaned up the very best. As a calling card in his first competitive outing against England, this one will take some beating.

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