Double disappointment for James Vince as England's World Cup hopes hang in balance
England's World Cup hopes – plus James Vince’s Three Lions ambitions – hang in the balance following a 64-run defeat to Australia at Lord’s.
The host side failed to chase down a modest total of 285 for seven at the home of cricket as they crumbled under pressure against the Aussies.
And to reach the semi-finals, the pre-tournament favourites may now have to beat both India and New Zealand in their final two group games.
For Hampshire’s opening batman, Vince, the game proved a personal disaster and huge disappointment.
He needed a good performance to convince the doubters of his England credentials.
But it could hardly have gone any worse for him.
Vince lasted just two balls, before Jason Behrendorff (five for 44) shattered his stumps, sending him back to the pavilion without scoring.Looking disconsolate, he trudged off realising his chances of being selected for the Ashes Test series later this summer had been badly dented - if not ended completely.Worse was to follow for England as they slumped to 26 for three as they attempted to chase down Australia’s total.Joe Root (eight) was out lbw to an inswinger and captain Eoin Morgan (four) was caught at fine leg, both off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.Jonny Bairstow (27) and Jos Buttler (25) offered brief resistance, but it was Ben Stokes who kept England’s slender hopes alive.
Stokes hit a battling 89 runs before Starc (four for 43) bowled him with a superb off-stump yorker.
Any chance England of winning the game disappeared with his departure.
Earlier, Australia failed to build on a fine start given to them by openers Aaron Finch and David Warner.
Grey clouds overhead and a green tinge to the wicket meant it was a good toss for England to win.
Australia were invited to bat first in bowler-friendly conditions and the openers guided their side to 100 without loss after 18 overs.
It was looking ominous for England but Moeen Ali made the all important breakthrough when he removed Warner (53), caught by Root in the 23rd over.From that point onwards, apart from Finch (100) – who went on to score an excellent century – none of the Australia batsmen dominated the England bowlers.
Finch celebrated his century off 116 balls, before being caught next ball at fine leg when trying to hook a short ball from Jofre Archer.
At 200 for three with 14 overs remaining the Aussies were still in a good position to post a big target.
The England bowlers, however, came back strongly and regular wickets pegged them back.
Steve Smith (38), just like Warner previously, was booed loudly by the England fans on his way on and off the pitch.
In the end Australia limped to 285 for seven off their 50 overs, with Chris Woakes (two for 46) the pick of the bowlers.