Eoin Morgan’s side will play New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday, England’s first appearance in a final since 1992.
After Australia chose to bat first, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes quickly made light of the top order as Aaron Finch’s side slumped to 14/3 inside half an hour before posting just 223 runs in 49 overs.
The relatively low target did not prevent Jonny Bairstow or Jason Roy deviating from their usual swashbuckling start as they raced to 50 runs inside the first 10 overs and they continued their fine form together.
After a strong start, Roy (85) and Bairstow (34) made way for Joe Root and Morgan, who comfortably saw the hosts and pre-tournament favourites over the line.
The bit-part support at Edgbaston let out a slight collective groan at around 10:05am as news filtered around the ground that England had lost the toss and Australia chose to bat first. 17 of the last 21 World Cup matches have been won by the side batting first, including Australia’s 64-run win against England at Lord’s earlier in the tournament.
However, this time things were different. England felt less pressure by being made to field first and had Australia scrambling at 14/3 after half an hour of breath-taking bowling.
Finch, who scored a century against England at Lord’s, was the first to go, falling for a golden duck after being trapped for LBW by Archer.
Woakes quickly got in on the act, getting Warner caught behind and the in-form opener was booed back to the dressing room after mustering nine runs. Peter Handscomb entered the fray and never got settled on his World Cup debut before being bowled by Woakes for four as England celebrated a tremendous start.
Steve Smith and Alex Carey restored some order with a 94-run fourth wicket partnership before Adil Rashid got Carey out and then saw off Marcus Stoinis in the same over.
Australia were on the ropes as Archer dished out another hammer blow and produced a stunning slow knuckleball that prompted Glenn Maxwell to chip the clever delivery straight to Morgan after an entertaining cameo.
With the tailenders in England’s sights, Smith continued to bat deep and outlasted Pat Cummins, who misread Rashid’s delivery and lofted a ball to Root, but his departure in the 48th over, a superb run-out by Jos Buttler, allowed the England supporters to believe there will be one more game in this tournament. Woakes and Mark Wood quickly saw off Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Lyon respectively and England were 224 runs away from a World Cup final.
After England’s impressive bowling with the new ball, Roy and Bairstow made Australia’s openers look very ordinary, with Roy staking a serious claim to open the batting in The Ashes in the process.
With England well ahead on the par score, the openers turned on the style and treated the Birmingham crowd to a feast of big hitting boundaries, the highlight of which was Roy striking three sixes off Smith’s over, including one into the top tier.
There was a brief moment of concern for England as Bairstow fell while running and required several minutes of treatment before getting up. He appeared to shake off whatever injury troubled him, but was out for 34 soon after, a review confirmed Starc’s delivery onto his pad was in fact hitting the wicket.
Joe Root joined the fun and Morgan was quickly beside him when Roy was dismissed in slightly controversial circumstances. The umpires judged that he touched Cummins’ delivery to Carey, although television replays show no contact, but Bairstow had already blown the available review.
Root and Morgan then coasted towards the total without really being troubled as chants of 'it's coming home' echoed around the ground. Another performance like this on Sunday and you sense that it may well be.
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