Allan Lamb believes England will be too strong for Australia in a mouthwatering Cricket World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The hosts were beaten by fierce rivals Australia at Lord's in the group stage but will get the opportunity to gain revenge when it really matters.

Australia missed out on top spot following a defeat to South Africa at Old Trafford last Saturday, while England dug themselves out of a hole to qualify with wins over India and New Zealand under huge pressure.

Former England batsman Lamb, who briefly captained the ODI team in 1990, expects Eoin Morgan's side to dethrone Australia and seal their place in the decider at Lord's.

"[Aaron] Finch, [David] Warner and [Mitchell] Starc look to be carrying Australia and to me, England are the better team." Lamb told Omnisport.

"Starc looked to be carrying a bit of a knock to his ankle against South Africa. If Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow can get amongst them early on that will lay the platform, then I can also see Nathan Lyon travelling as I think we will attack him.

"I reckon England can win well, we are the stronger side when you look at the two teams, as simple as that."

Lamb says the return of Roy from a hamstring injury to partner Bairstow has been key to England's revival.

"Roy coming back was massive, he brings the best out of Bairstow. Those two are so important at the top of the order, they provide so much confidence for the rest of the team," he added.

"They play the same way, in such an attacking manner, and Roy playing his shots at the other end allows Bairstow to do the same and they just seem to enjoy themselves."

Matthew Wade's place in Australia's Cricket World Cup squad as Usman Khawaja's replacement has been confirmed ahead of the semi-final with England at Edgbaston.

Khawaja's tournament was ended by a hamstring strain sustained in the final group game against South Africa and the defending champions had applied to the ICC for Wade to be brought in as his replacement.

The formalities for Wade's inclusion were completed on Wednesday, a day before the Aussies meet hosts England in the second semi-final.

Coach Justin Langer has already confirmed Peter Handscomb will replace Khawaja in his XI for the clash with England.

Wade, 31, has been in fine form having scored two centuries for Australia A in England last month.

He has not played an ODI in two years but reports suggest he could also come straight into the team at Edgbaston, possibly at the expense of all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.

India's top order was blown away by New Zealand seamers Matt Henry and Trent Boult at Old Trafford to leave Virat Kohli's side reeling at 24-4 in pursuit of a victory target of 240 in the first Cricket World Cup semi-final.

The Black Caps resumed their innings on Wednesday, with rain having halted their progress after 46.1 overs on Tuesday, and they reached 239-8, a total that looked below par against an India side with such an explosive batting line-up.

However, the momentum had shifted firmly in New Zealand's favour after the opening 19 deliveries of the reply. Rohit Sharma, Kohli and KL Rahul were all sent back having scored just a single run each, before Dinesh Karthik (6) fell from the final ball of the powerplay.

Rohit, the competition's leading run scorer who had amassed three straight centuries and five in total heading into this contest, feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Tom Latham off Henry.

Kohli was the next to depart, unsuccessfully reviewing Boult's lbw shout as replays showed the ball would have gone on to clip the top of the bails, with Rahul also nicking behind to complete a remarkable early passage.

Rishabh Pant and Karthik were given the task of rebuilding the innings, but the latter was removed by a superb one-handed take from Jimmy Neesham at backward point to give Henry a third wicket of a remarkable start.

India have been set a target of 240 to reach the Cricket World Cup final after New Zealand added a further 28 while losing three wickets having resumed their innings on Wednesday's reserve day.

The Black Caps had laboured to 211-5 in 46.1 overs before rain at Old Trafford prevented any further play on Tuesday, meaning they completed the final 3.5 overs on Wednesday and reached an eventual total of 239-8.

Ross Taylor moved from 67 not out overnight to 74 before being run out, with Kane Williamson (67) having been the only other New Zealand batsman to have found any sort of rhythm on a surface that many struggled to read on Tuesday.

Ravindra Jadeja, who had figures of 1-34 from his 10 overs, ran out Taylor with a brilliant direct hit from midwicket then took his second catch of the innings from the very next ball to send back Tom Latham (10).

Matt Henry also holed out to give Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-43) his second dismissal of the morning as New Zealand missed the chance to make the most of the final 23 balls they had to face.

Play began in brighter conditions on Wednesday and showers were not expected in the area during the day.

India need to bat at least 20 overs for a result to be possible, otherwise Virat Kohli's side would progress to the final as they finished top of the group phase.

Peter Handscomb is a certainty to be in Australia's XI for their Cricket World Cup semi-final showdown against England, according to head coach Justin Langer.

Handscomb was called up to Australia's squad as a replacement for Shaun Marsh after the left-handed batsman broke his arm in a training session, though is likely to have to step in for Usman Khawaja – who has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with a hamstring strain.

And Langer has full faith in Handscomb to deliver at Edgbaston on Thursday, despite having missed out on the initial squad.

"I'll tell you the truth. Peter Handscomb will definitely play, 100 per cent" said Langer. "He deserves it.

"He was unlucky not to be on this tour, he was so unlucky not to be in the initial squad after what he'd done to get us to that point.

"He's in good form, he played well for Australia A, gives us that nice balance in the middle order. He's got good temperament, he plays spin well, he's on top of his game, so Pete will definitely play."

Handscomb praised his coach's alternative methods on Monday, after Langer instructed Australia's players to walk around the outfield barefoot to 'earth' themselves ahead of the game, and Langer revealed it was a habit he and former opening partner Mathew Hayden used to practice.

"What was it called?" asked Langer. "I don't know what you call it, we just took our shoes and socks off and walked a lap of the oval.

"It's a nice thing to do, it's a nice place to be. Haydos and I used to do it, just as a bit of a ritual before every Test match."

While Handscomb will definitely feature, Marcus Stoinis will also be fit to play after recovering from a side strain sustained against South Africa.

"He looks good," Langer said of Stoinis following Wednesday's net session in Birmingham.

"It was a very good nets actually, there was a bit of heat in there again and it was very competitive and that always brings the best out in Stoinis, so he did a good job and he's fit to go."

The Cricket World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand will resume on Wednesday's reserve day following heavy rain at Old Trafford.

New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat, reaching 211-5 after 46.1 overs when the players were forced off the field at around 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT).

Light but persistent showers continued throughout the afternoon and though the umpires inspected the pitch at 18:10, heavier rain arrived at that point and the covers were summoned back on.

Play had to resume by 18:36 for a conclusion to be reached on Tuesday, with India needing to bat at least 20 overs for a result.

However, as the bad weather refused to relent, the umpires made the decision to call off play for the day, meaning the teams will be back at the venue on Wednesday to reach a conclusion.

New Zealand will face the final 3.5 overs of their innings, with Ross Taylor (67 not out) and Tom Latham (3 not out) to return to the crease.

Further showers are forecast in Manchester, though, and should the game not be completed, India will qualify for Sunday's final at Lord's because they finished above New Zealand in the group stage.

Steve Rhodes' tenure as Bangladesh coach has come to an end just a year into his contract following a disappointing Cricket World Cup campaign.

Bangladesh lost five of their fixtures at the tournament in England and Wales, finishing the group stage in eighth with only West Indies and Afghanistan below them in the table.

Rhodes only took over in June 2018 and was set to carry on as coach until the ICC T20 World Cup in 2020.

However, the Bangladesh Cricket Board have confirmed they have agreed to part ways with Rhodes by mutual consent.

"The board had a review following the Pakistan match [Bangladesh's last at the World Cup] in a meeting in London," Nizamuddin Chowdhury, the BCB CEO, told ESPNcricinfo.

"There it was decided that the BCB and Steve Rhodes will not continue on their agreement. The separation was by mutual consent.

"The BCB has not yet decided on a new coach for the Sri Lanka series, which is their next assignment."

Bangladesh will tour Sri Lanka in July for a three-match ODI series.

India took control of their Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, who were 211-5 when rain brought a halt to proceedings in the 47th over.

The Black Caps won the toss and elected to bat first, but they toiled to 27-1 in the powerplay before Kane Williamson (67) at least attempted to push their innings on.

Like openers Martin Guptill (1) and Henry Nicholls (28), Ross Taylor (67 not out) had struggled to score initially but had finally found some sort of rhythm when the inclement weather arrived.

The steady rain became heavier and the covers came on with just 23 balls remaining.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first in their Cricket World Cup semi-final against an India side that included Yuzvendra Chahal.

With 16 of the last 20 World Cup matches having been won by the team batting first, Black Caps skipper Williamson decided to put India into field at Old Trafford.

India, who finished top of the group stage, made just one change to their team as spinner Chahal replaced Kuldeep Yadav, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar keeping his place at the expense of fellow seamer Mohammed Shami.

New Zealand also bought in just one new face as Lockie Ferguson, who came into the game as the Black Caps' leading wicket-taker with 17 dismissals, replaced Tim Southee.

Peter Handscomb believes Justin Langer's decision to have Australia's players walk around the Edgbaston outfield barefoot has helped bond the squad.

Langer labelled himself as "a bit of a hippy" when he took over as Australia coach and he provided an example of his alternative methods when he directed his team to walk on the ground where they will face England in Thursday's Cricket World Cup semi-final without shoes and socks.

The technique has been dubbed "barefoot healing" and "earthing", and its practitioners include State of Origin side New South Wales Blues.

Handscomb, who was called up to Australia's squad as a replacement for Shaun Marsh after the left-handed batsman broke his arm in a nets session, is fully behind Langer's approach.

"It was nice. You get a feel of the grass on your feet, a bit of grounding, the positive and negative energy flowing through and coming out of the earth," Handscomb told reporters.

"It is a nice feeling and you walk round with the group, have a bit of a laugh while you're going and talking.

"It is just a nice moment. It was just a moment to get a feel for the ground, literally.

"It's something the coach has done before at other venues for a bit of grounding.

"You do that lap and you can see all the different views from the ground and where you might be fielding and it gives you an opportunity to take it all in before it all starts on Thursday."

Australia have already beaten World Cup hosts England in the group stage, though they head into the semi-finals having lost their final round-robin match against South Africa.

Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson will reignite an old rivalry when India and New Zealand face off in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

The duo first played against each in 2007, before captaining their respective countries in an Under-19 World Cup semi-final in Malaysia a year later.

Kohli came out on top in that encounter, dismissing Williamson in a three-wicket victory for India.

Kohli and Williamson have since scored 33,840 international runs and 99 centuries between them, and now they go head to head for a place in Sunday's final against Australia or hosts England.

While India have relied mainly on Rohit Sharma - the leading scorer at the World Cup with 647, including five centuries - for their runs, Williamson was in fine form for New Zealand earlier in the tournament and has the best batting average at 96.20.

However, the Black Caps lost their last three group-stage games against Pakistan, Australia and England and only qualified for the final four on net run rate.

With the sides yet to play each other in this tournament due to their June 13 fixture being rained off, New Zealand - beaten finalists in 2015 - may have their work cut out to progress against 2011 champions India, who have won seven matches in the competition and are hot favourites to triumph at Old Trafford.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

A 31-run defeat to England is all that mars a perfect record for India, and with Rohit in devastating form with the bat they would certainly be worthy finalists.

New Zealand looked on course to cruise into the last four after winning five straight games, but they lost their way towards the end of the group stage and were fortunate Pakistan did not click into gear until late on.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

India captain Kohli on his reunion with Williamson: "I'll remind Kane [about 2008], I'm sure he remembers. It is quite a nice thing to realise that 11 years later we are captaining our respective nations again in a senior World Cup from Under-19s."

Black Caps skipper Williamson: "I think for everybody it sort of starts fresh tomorrow after what was a very tough round-robin stage, and we were certainly expecting that it would be tough. It's just a great occasion to be a part of. I know the guys are really excited by the opportunity to go out and try to play with that freedom that when we do gives us the best chance."

 

OPTA FACTS

- There have been seven completed matches between India and New Zealand in World Cup history - the Black Caps have edged it so far with four wins.
- India have recorded six victories in their last seven ODIs against New Zealand.
- New Zealand have reached the semi-final stage of the World Cup for the fourth time in succession, though they are yet to win the competition.

England opener Jason Roy thinks Australia's confidence may have suffered a blow with their 10-run loss to South Africa on Saturday.

Australia were the first team to qualify for the Cricket World Cup semi-finals but missed out on finishing top of the table as they went down to the Proteas at Old Trafford after India had beaten Sri Lanka at Headingley.

The reigning champions will consequently face tournament hosts England in the semi-finals at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Australia won by 64 runs when the two teams met at Lord's last week, but Roy believes ending the group stage with a defeat may have altered the mood in the Australian camp.

"It should be a great game. I think them losing to South Africa might have knocked their confidence a bit," said Roy.

"When you get to the semi-final stage any team you come up against is going to be a tough ask, mentally and physically. They hammered us at Lord's but who knows what it is going to bring?

"As exciting as it is, we've got to stay as relaxed as we can, understanding that it is a World Cup semi-final that doesn't come around very often and that we've been working towards this for years."

Roy sat out the first meeting with Australia, as well as the games against Afghanistan and Pakistan, due to a hamstring injury.

"I'll be honest, there was a bit of a fear I might be out [for the entire tournament] but I needed to stay positive around the group," said the Surrey batsman.

"I was staying around the lads and travelling with them, so I had to keep giving out positive vibes and try to help where I can.

"But, having been dropped in the Champions Trophy [in 2017] and then working my backside off to get here, and being in good form only to then get injured, I was like, 'give me a break!'

"I thought I was having no luck so that was frustrating and a bit hard to deal with, but I kept things relaxed, worked hard and thankfully I got back and was able to play.

"I'm right where I wanted to be, both mentally and physically. This is the reward for the hard work and sacrifices we all make.

"I didn't put myself in the IPL auction, I did everything I possibly could to get myself to this point I'm at now."

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon expects England to feel a greater burden to perform and reach the final, though.

He said: "They are full of world-class players. They have been the number one team for a couple of years now. They should be going into this World Cup as favourites. It's all on them.

"It's their World Cup to lose if you ask me. We have got nothing to lose, only got stuff to gain."

The Cricket World Cup group stage is over and the build-up to the semi-finals is under way.

Group winners India will take on New Zealand at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with hosts England facing rivals Australia at Edgbaston two days later.

With the feast of cricket coming towards its conclusion, we take a look back at some of the stats from the first round with the help of Opta.

 

BATSMEN

Most runs

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 647
2. David Warner (Australia) 638
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 606
4. Aaron Finch (Australia) 507
5. Joe Root (England) 500

Batting averages

1. Kane Williamson (New Zealand) 96.20
2. Rohit Sharma (India) 92.42
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 86.57
4. David Warner (Australia) 79.75
5. Samiullah Shinwari (Afghanistan) 74.00

Fours

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 67
2. David Warner (Australia) 64
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 60
4. Jonny Bairstow (England) 55
5. Babar Azam (Pakistan) 50

Sixes

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 22
2. Aaron Finch (Australia) 18
3. Rohit Sharma (India) 14
4. Chris Gayle (West Indies) 12
5. Jonny Bairstow (England) 11

Fastest hundreds (by deliveries)

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 57 v Afghanistan
2. Jos Buttler (England) 75 v Pakistan
3. Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies) 80 v New Zealand
4. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 83 v West Indies
5. Rohit Sharma (India) 95 v Pakistan

BOWLERS

Most wickets

1. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 26
2. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 20
=3. Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand) 17
=3. Jaspirt Bumrah (India) 17
=3. Mohammad Amir (Pakistan) 17
=3. Jofra Archer (England) 17

Economy rate (from seven or more innings)

1. Colin de Grandhomme (New Zealand) 4.46
2. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan) 4.47
3. Jasprit Bumrah (India) 4.48
4. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 4.61
5. Ben Stokes (England) 4.65

Dot balls

1. Jofra Archer (England) 300
2. Pat Cummins (Australia) 295
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 288
4. Trent Boult (New Zealand) 284
5. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) 273

Sixes conceded

1. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) 14
2. Yuzvendra Chahal (India) 13
=3. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 10
=3. Adil Rashid (England) 10
=5. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 9
=5. Dawlat Zadran (Afghanistan) 9
=5. Glenn Maxwell (Australia) 9

Runs conceded

1. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 483
2. Adil Rashid (England) 433
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 432
4. Gulbadin Naib (Afghanistan) 419
5. Mohammad Saifuddin (Bangladesh) 417

Usman Khawaja has been ruled out of Australia's Cricket World Cup semi-final showdown with hosts England on Thursday.

Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis had scans after suffering respective hamstring and side injuries in the defeat to South Africa at Old Trafford.

Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh were called up as cover from the A squad earlier on Sunday ahead of their four-day match with Sussex.

Australia coach Justin Langer is uncertain on Stoinis' chances of facing England at Edgbaston but says Khawaja's World Cup is at an end, with Wade to replace him in the squad once the necessary paperwork is completed.

"It's such a pity for [Khawaja], for someone who's been so integral to how we've been playing," he said. "Like Shaun [Marsh, who broke his arm on Thursday] I feel that sad for him that he's going to miss the World Cup semi-final.

"Matthew Wade is coming up, he's in great form, he's had a great 12 or 18 months back home but he also just scored two hundreds [for Australia A] so he's in great nick.

"Mitch Marsh is going to come on standby for Marcus Stoinis just to see how he comes up… If they have to come in they'll be ready to step up."

The Cricket World Cup semi-final spots have been decided, with India, Australia, England and New Zealand into the final four.

But what of the half a dozen teams not to make it through?

Some arguably performed better than expected, while some – we're looking at you, West Indies and South Africa – were hugely disappointing.

For fans of those two sides, our World Cup report card may not make for pretty reading…

 

PAKISTAN (5th, W5 L3 N/R1)
RATING: C+

Ahead of the tournament, all the talk focused on their inconsistency and Sarfraz Ahmed's side lived up to their billing, summed up by their opening thrashing by the West Indies followed by a superb victory over favourites England. They were outclassed by Australia and India but finished strongly, winning four straight matches and only missed out on the semis due to their inferior net run rate, irreparably damaged by that Windies hammering. Mohammad Amir was excellent with the ball, picking up 17 wickets, while Babar Azam showed his class with the bat and Haris Sohail's form made a mockery of Pakistan's earlier faith in spent force Shoaib Malik.

SRI LANKA (6th, W3 L4 N/R2)
RATING: C

The Lions looked massively under-strength coming in, but they could argue that successive washouts against Pakistan and Bangladesh cost them a fairer shot at a top-four finish. The undoubted highlight was their stunning win over England, where veteran seamer Lasith Malinga rolled back the years. At the other end of the scale, 21-year-old Avishka Fernando hinted at a bright future with a marvellous hundred against the Windies in a dead rubber.

SOUTH AFRICA (7th, W3 L5 N/R1)
RATING: E

Even for a country with a long history of Cricket World Cup calamity, South Africa will look back on this campaign as a particularly miserable one. From AB de Villiers' attempted retirement U-turn just before the squad was announced to losing premier quick Dale Steyn to injury, the Proteas were in disarray before game one. A solitary point from their first four matches left them with too much to do as the likes of Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis failed to fill the void left by De Villiers in the top order.

BANGLADESH (8th, W3 L5 N/R1)
RATING: B+

A superb campaign – belied by their final position in the table – spearheaded by the remarkable performances of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who racked up 606 runs and took 11 wickets with his wily left-arm spin – the first player to score 500+ runs and claim 10+ dismissals at a World Cup. There were impressive wins against South Africa and West Indies while they ran New Zealand and India mighty close. On this evidence, the Tigers will be genuine contenders in India in 2023.

WEST INDIES (9th, W2 L6 N/R1)
RATING: F

Not bottom of the table, but certainly bottom of the class. A squad filled with giants capable of smashing 100-metre sixes and bowling 90+ mph, the Windies let themselves down badly at this tournament. An opening annihilation of Pakistan promised much, but – scintillating centuries from Carlos Brathwaite and Nicholas Pooran aside – they failed to show the required application. Andre Russell's fitness issues caught up with him midway through the tournament, while 39-year-old Chris Gayle's intention to reverse his retirement looked a mistake. It is time to blood some fresh talent.

AFGHANISTAN (10th, W0 L9)
RATING: D

They may have finished as the only side without a point, but it is not all doom and gloom for Afghanistan. The tournament's lowest-ranked team improved as the campaign progressed, giving India and Pakistan almighty scares in agonisingly narrow defeats. A change of captaincy shortly before the finals, as well as knee-injury victim Mohammad Shahzad arguing against the decision to send him home and Aftab Alam's banishment for a disciplinary violation, will certainly have proved unwelcome distractions. The next World Cup in sub-continental conditions will surely suit a side with four years' more experience.

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