England vs Australia: Who will win the Cricket World Cup semi-final?

England vs Australia: Who will win the Cricket World Cup semi-final?

By Tom Gillespie, news reporter

England and Australia are set to go head-to-head in the Cricket World Cup semi-final, with the match expected to add a thrilling chapter to one of sport’s most notorious rivalries.

Eoin Morgan’s men will be looking to prove a point on Thursday after already losing to the Australians earlier in the tournament.

The winners will play whoever comes out on top between India and New Zealand at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

As England and Australia prepare themselves to fight for a place in the final, Sky News takes a look at the statistics to help predict who might have the edge.

Most runs

England has scored a total of 2,254 runs compared to Australia’s 2,084.

But Australia has two of the top five run-scorers in the tournament, whereas England has none.

The Aussies’ left-handed batsman David Warner has scored the second-most runs of the tournament so far with 638, with only India’s Rohit Sharma having scored more with 647.

Australia’s Aaron Finch is in fifth position with 507 runs, while England’s highest scoring batsman Joe Root is in sixth place with 500.

England’s Jonny Bairstow is in eighth place with 462 runs while his teammate Ben Stokes is in eleventh place on 381 runs.

Jason Roy sits in fifteenth place overall for England with 341 runs, ahead of Australia’s Alex Carey on 329.

England captain Eoin Morgan is in eighteenth place with 317 runs, just one more than Australia’s Usman Khawaja who has 316.

Morgan’s side has five batsman in the top 20 with a combined total of 2,001 runs, compared to the 1,790 scored by the four Australians.

The numbers appear to suggest England is the stronger side in this area, but Warner and Finch look likely to cause them problems.

Most wickets

The term "wicket" has more than one meaning in cricket, but in this case it refers to the dismissal of a batsman by a bowler.

England have taken a total of 71 wickets compared to the 55 taken by Australia.

Mitchell Starc has taken the most wickets of the tournament

Aussie bowler Mitchell Starc has taken the most wickets in the tournament so far with 26, and will have his sights on removing England’s top order in the semi-final.

Jofra Archer, competing in his first World Cup for England, sits in fourth place with 17 wickets.

He shares the placing with three other bowlers.

England’s Mark Wood, who is in eighth place with 16 wickets, is the next highest player from either team to make the list.

Australia’s Pat Cummins is eleventh with 13 wickets.

The stats show Australia has the top wicket-taker in the tournament, meaning surviving Starc will be key for any England success.

Best batting strike rate

A batsman’s strike rate is determined by how many runs they achieve in relation to the amount of balls they face.

So if a batsman scores 12 runs after facing six balls they have a strike rate of 200.

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell has achieved the highest strike rate of 163.15, while his teammate Nathan Coulter-Nile is in third place with 136.11.

English batsman Jos Buttler is in fourth place with 130.41, while his teammates Morgan and Roy are in ninth and tenth place with 116.11 and 114.04 respectively.

Australia’s Alex Carey sits in eleventh place with a strike rate of 113.84.

The only other player in the top 20 from either side is England’s thirteenth place Moeen Ali with 111.94.

The strike rate is more significant in limited-overs cricket, because it indicates how quickly a batsman can score runs.

With the first and third best strikes rates in the tournament, Australia appears to have the advantage in this area.

England's batsman Jos Buttler has the best strike of the English batsmen

Bowling strike rate

A bowler’s strike rate is determined by the average number of balls delivered per wicket taken.

Mitchell Starc has been the third most dangerous bowler of the tournament with a strike rate of 19.23, while his teammate Kane Richardson is in fifth place with 21.20.

Wood is in twelfth place with England’s best strike rate of 26.43, while his teammate Liam Plunkett is the next best English bowler with a rate of 28.50 putting him in eighteenth place.

Archer is in nineteenth place with a strike rate of 28.52.

Again, it looks like Australia has the edge in terms of bowling strike rate.

Most sixes

Thursday’s contest could be decided by some big hits, and the stats suggest England has the advantage in this area.

England have hit 65 sixes in the tournament compared to Australia’s 36.

Morgan has hit the most sixes of the tournament so far with 22, while Australia’s Finch is in second place with 18.

Finch is the only Australian batsman in the top 10, while England have two more.

Bairstow has hit 11 sixes and Stokes has hit nine.

If England’s big-hitters are on form they could knock Australia for six on Thursday.

What kind of tournament have England and Australia had so far?

Australia are second in the table with 14 points having won seven games and lost two.

England are third with 12 points after winning six games and losing three.

One of those losses came against Australia when the two sides faced each other on 25 June.

England lost by 64 runs after being bowled out for 221.

Australia batted first and made it difficult for Morgan’s side to come back after Finch opened with a century.

Australia defeated England at Lord's on 25 June

The defeat left England’s future in the tournament hanging in the balance, as they faced must-win games against India and New Zealand to make it into the semi-final.

England went on to beat India by 31 runs and New Zealand by 119.

Australia on the other hand will be going into Thursday’s match on the back of a defeat, having lost to South Africa by 10 runs on 6 July.

It was their second loss after India beat them by 36 runs on 9 June.

Perhaps the semi-final is a chance for England to avenge the group stage defeat.

Mark Woods has England's best bowling strike rate

How have the teams fared since the last World Cup in 2015?

Australia will be hoping to win their second World Cup in a row after lifting the trophy in Melbourne four years ago.

England failed to reach the semi-final of that tournament after suffering four losses in six matches.

Their performance against Bangladesh that saw them exit the tournament was described as "pathetic" by England cricket legend Sir Ian Botham.

The 2015 World Cup failure, in which the England were seen to have an inflexible approach that depended too much on statistics, proved a turning point.

Australia celebrate after winning the Cricket World Cup in 2015

Months later former captain Michael Vaughan called England’s 2016 team the best one-day side he had ever seen.

Fours years after their embarrassment in Australia, England went into the 2019 tournaments as hosts and favourites.

They currently sit at the top of the International Cricket Council’s one-day international world rankings, with Morgan thought to be one of the key players in turning England’s fortunes around.

Australia sit in fourth place in the one-day international rankings.

What about the rivalry?

England and Australia are the fiercest rivals in cricket, with the sides competing in The Ashes test series at least once every two years.

The series was first played in 1882 and there have been 70 Ashes series since, with Australia winning 33, England 32 and five being drawn.

England achieved its highest ever one-day international result against Australia after scoring 481 runs against them in 2018.

Australia’s highest ever one-day international result came when they beat South Africa after scoring 434 runs in 2006.

England scored 481 runs against Australia in 2018

England also won seven one-day internationals in a row in 2019 where they scored 300+ runs, compared to Australia’s record of six in a row in 2007.

Australia have defeated England in a World Cup final before, back in 1987.

England also lost to Australia in the 1975 semi-final.

Australia are five-times winners of the tournament, while England are yet to lift the trophy.

Morgan’s men will be seeking the opportunity to put that right by progressing to the final on Thursday.

Автор: veneya
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