By Ed Osmond
LONDON (Reuters) – Australia crushed England by 64 runs at Lord’s on Tuesday to reach the Cricket World Cup semi-finals and leave the hosts in serious danger of failing to reach the last four.
Australia captain Aaron Finch made 100 to lead his team to a competitive but not imposing total of 285 for seven before England slumped to 26-3 in reply.
Ben Stokes defied a calf injury to make 89 but the hosts never seriously threatened to get close to their target, Jason Behrendorff picking up five wickets as they were bowled out meekly for 221 in the 45th over.
After being put into bat, Finch and David Warner (53) shared an opening partnership of 123, their fifth fifty stand in a row, but England restricted the Australian scoring rate with tight bowling in the closing overs of their innings.
Australia’s sixth win in seven games took the defending champions into the semi-finals while England, the pre-tournament favourites, have now lost three matches and may need to beat India and New Zealand to make the last four.
(Reporting by Ed Osmond, Editing by Pritha Sarkar)