July 11, 2019 / 9:16 AM / 7 days ago

Cricket-Australia bat first against England in World Cup semi

BIRMINGHAM, England, July 11 (Reuters) - Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bat against England in the second semi-final of the Cricket World Cup at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The defending champions were forced into making one change to their team with Peter Handscomb replacing Usman Khawaja who has been ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury.

Former captain Steve Smith will move up to number three, Finch said.

“We’re going to bat. It looks like a good wicket and won’t change too much so hopefully we can put a big score on the board,” he added.

England retained the same side who beat New Zealand in their last group match.

The hosts’ captain Eoin Morgan admitted he would have preferred to bat first.

“The trend in the tournament is to bat first. We are not really bothered, before the World Cup we preferred to chase. Whoever plays the best cricket will go through,” he said.

“We have had highs and lows in the tournament but in the past two games we have gone from strength to strength.”

England have not reached the final since the 1992 World Cup and are chasing their maiden 50-overs world title.

The winners will take on 2015 finalists New Zealand in Sunday’s final at Lord’s.

Teams:

England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (captain), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer

Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), David Warner, Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Birmingham; editing by Ed Osmond)

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