Bengaluru, June 26: Aaron Finch became the seventh captain to lead Australia to the semifinals of an ICC Cricket World Cup on Tuesday when his team beat England by 64 runs in a crucial game at Lord's.
Australia, defending champions but currently ranked fifth in the ODIs, have come up with an impressive show in this edition so far with six wins out of seven games. Their only loss came against India at the Oval on June 9.
This is the eighth time Australia have made the semifinals of the World Cup, which is more than anybody else (New Zealand will also make their eighth semifinal if they win another game in this edition). The four times they could not make it were in 1979, 1983, 1992 and 2011.
Australia have a high percentage of win in semi-finals. In fact, they have never lost a semifinal since they first made it in 1975. Here is a brief look at Australia's performances in their past seven semifinals at the World Cup:
The arch-rivals met in the last four match at Headingley. England batted first but could not withstand the Gary Gilmour storm as the left-arm pacer took six for 14 and were all out for only 93 in the 37th over. Australia were also in a spot of bother but it was Gilmour again with the bat who rescued them with an unbeaten 28 not out. Australia won the match by four wickets to make their first-ever WC final. Ian Chappell was the captain. Gilmour was the man of the match.
After having failed to make the semis in two consecutive WCs, Australia made it again in 1987 under Allan Border's captaincy. They met the formidable Pakistan in their own den in Lahore. Winning the toss, the Kangaroos batted first to post a total of 267 for eight in 50 overs. David Boon top-scored with 65. Pakistan in reply were all out for 249 despite strong efforts from Javed Miandad (70) and skipper Imran Khan (58). Craig McDermott was the man of the match, taking five for 44.
Mark Taylor won the toss and elected to bat and Australia were in great trouble at 15 for four. Stuart Law (72) and Michael Bevan (69) helped them to cross 200 and they made 207 for eight in 50 overs. Richie Richardson's Caribbeans were doing great at 165 for two till an incredible collapse hit them and they were all out for 202. Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored 80. Shane Warne was the man of the match taking four for 36.
The most thrilling semifinal that Australia have featured in. Batting first, Steve Waugh's men could manage only 213 at Edgbaston with Shaun Pollock taking a fifer. After the interval, Shane Warne came back hard to pick four for 29 and an unbelievable run-out of Allan Donald left the two teams' scores tied, but since Australia had finished above the Proteas in the Super Six stage, they made it to the final.
Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat first and after facing some early troubles, Andrew Symonds' 91 helped them make 212 for seven in 50 overs. Brett Lee then ran through the Sri Lankan top order and they made 123 for seven in 38.1 overs when they should have made 172. Sanath Jayasuriya's side lost by 48 runs and Symonds was the man of the match.
Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to bat in this game. But SA were no match for the Australian pace bowling fire power and got bundled out for 149 in 43.5 overs. Shaun Tait took four and Glenn McGrath took three wickets. Justin Kemp top-scored with 49 not out. Michael Clarke hit 60 not out to see Australia home with seven wickets to spare. McGrath was the man of the match.
In this grudge knock-out game to avenge the 2011 quarterfinal loss, Clarke won the toss and elected to bat. Powered by Steve Smith's century and Aaron Finch's 81, Australia posted a big total of 328 for seven in 50 overs. Umesh Yadav took four for 72. India were off to a good start but could not maintain the momentum and were all out for 233 in the 47th over. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the top scorer with a run-a-ball 65. James Faulkner took three wickets. Smith was the man of the match.