Australia deliver hammer blow to England’s Cricket World Cup hopes

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Australia 285-7, England 221
• Home side could miss semi-finals after Lord’s batting collapse

Now the England camp might acknowledge a little nervousness about their position. After a comprehensive 64-run defeat, in which Australia dominated from start to finish with just the odd minor hiccup, England can still control their own destiny. But they may well need two victories in their last two group games against the two sides who have yet to be beaten in this tournament, India and New Zealand.

Meanwhile Aaron Finch’s side – and increasingly his calm presence directing operations in the field and piling up the runs at the top of the order – can realistically contemplate another World Cup semi-final. Only the mathematicians can argue against this. They have cause for optimism now. Australia are unbeaten in their previous World Cup semi-finals.

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