England Defeat Australia to make Cricket World Cup Finals For the First Time in 27 Years

AP: Rui Vieira

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom — For the first time in 27 years, England will play in the Cricket World Cup finals, thanks to their thrashing of reigning champions Australia today at Edgbaston.

The English team won by eight wickets in Thursday’s match to secure their spot in Sunday’s final against New Zealand at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.

Jason Roy hit a blistering 85 as England reached a victory target of 224 with a mammoth 107 balls to spare after bowling out Australia for 223.

Australia won the toss and opted to bat but lost Finch, David Warner and Peter Handscomb early on to leave Australia reeling at 14-3. The team slowly rebuilt through Steve Smith (85) and Alex Carey (46) but their effort could not save the Aussies.

England’s openers Roy and Jonny Bairstow (34) put on 124 for the first wicket, their fourth consecutive century stand.

England, losing finalists in 1979, 1987 and 1992, will now face New Zealand, who have also yet to win the World Cup.

The New Zealand team, runners-up to Australia in 2015, enjoyed a surprise semi-final win over India yesterday, despite three straight defeats by Pakistan, Australia and England. The Black Caps only qualified for the semi-finals on net run-rate, while India topped the 10-team group stage.

England is now the resounding favorites to win Sunday’s final, having defeated New Zealand before in a group stage match.

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