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Australia vs England head to head - how the two semi-finalists match up

Australian Team
Australian Team
©Action Images via Reuters
The oldest rivalry in cricket will return to the knockout stages of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup for the first time in three decades when England take on Australia at Edgbaston.
  • England have won 10 of the last 11 meetings between the two sides since the 2015 World Cup
  • Australia beat England by 64 runs earlier in this World Cup at Lord’s
On the line is a place in the World Cup final, in the ninth meeting of the teams at a World Cup. From a dramatic semi-final in the first World Cup, to the closest final of them all, England and Australia have played out some classics, with the Australians having enjoyed the better of the meetings.
While Australia lead the head-to-head in World Cups six to two, it is England who have had the upper hand since the 2015 World Cup.
Their record includes a run of 10 wins in 11 matches against the Australians and a 5-0 whitewash last summer.
The most eye-catching of those results came at Trent Bridge when England scored 481/6, the highest-ever ODI total, recording their biggest-ever victory over Australia, by 242 runs.
However, while England have the edge in recent games, the World Cup match-ups favour Australia, including the group stage encounter between the teams at Lord’s last month.
The teams met for the first time in the competition at the semi-final stage of the inaugural ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 1975 at Headingley.
It was a low-scoring affair, and a close-run encounter despite a stunning bowling display from the Australians after putting England in.
Gary Gilmour was virtually unplayable, finishing with figures of 6/14 as England were bundled out for just 93.
However, that proved a competitive total as Australia slumped to 39/6 in reply. John Snow had both Chappell brothers removed leg before but Gilmour then made a second crucial contribution of the game.
He and Doug Walters (20) added an unbeaten 55 to take Australia home, Gilmour making 28 at a run a ball on a wicket where no one else had found any fluency. That victory took Australia through to the first World Cup final, where they went on to lose tothe West Indies.              
England captains past, present and future combined to help England exact revenge on Australia four years later in the group stages at Lord’s.
Geoff Boycott was the unlikely hero with the ball, taking 2/15 from six economical overs, while four run-outs help limit Australia to 159/9.
In response then-captain Mike Brearley (44) and a man who would later take on the role, Graham Gooch (53), combined to help England to a comfortable six-wicket victory.
Australia’s subsequent defeat to Pakistan saw them eliminated, while England went on to reach the final before suffering the same fate as the Australians as West Indies won their second straight title.
The teams did not meet in 1983, but they faced off in the final four years later, both teams searching for their maiden title.
At Eden Gardens in Kolkata, David Boon scored a fine 75 as the Australians built steadily on their way to 253/5, Mike Veletta chipping in with a quick-fire 45 not out.
England looked to be in control in response as Bill Athey and Mike Gatting added 69, but an ill-advised reverse sweep from Gatting off the part-time off-spin of Allan Border turned the game on its head.
He departed for 41, Athey followed soon after for 58, and it was left to Allan Lamb to get them over the line.
Lamb made 45 before he was bowled by Steve Waugh, and England ended up falling agonizingly short, losing by just seven runs. That remains the closest margin in a World Cup final.
The next World Cup was playing in Australia and New Zealand, and it was in Sydney that Ian Botham inspired England to their second, and to date last, World Cup win over the Australians.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Australia were bowled out for just 171, with Botham the destroyer in chief as he took 4/31.
In reply, the all-rounder flourished in his pinch-hitting role at the top of the order, scoring 53, while opening partner Gooch scored 58.
Neither was there at the end, but England cruised to an eight-wicket success on their way to second spot in the group stages.
Australia, by contrast, missed out on a spot in the semi-finals due to Pakistan’s remarkable recovery.
It was the Pakistanis who went on to lift the trophy, beating England in the final by 22 runs, the third time England had fallen at the final hurdle.
After an 11-year wait the teams met once more in South Africa, with defending champions Australia knowing that victory would eliminate their oldest rivals.
England batted first with Alec Stewart (46) and Andrew Flintoff (45) the chief contributors as they made 204/8 at Centurion.
The star man for Australia was Andy Bichel, who took 7/20 – the second best figures in a World Cup ever after teammate Glenn McGrath three days earlier against Namibia.
The chase was far from straightforward, with Andy Caddick taking 4/35 as Australia slumped to 135/8.
That was when Bichel joined master chaser Michael Bevan (74 not out) in the middle and the pair added 73 for the ninth wicket to take Australia home.
With seven wickets and then an unbeaten 34, Bichel was inevitably named Player of the Match, with Australia going on to win their second successive world title, beating India in the final.
For the second successive World Cup, Australia got the better of England, and while this one did not knock out the English, it left them on the brink.
In Antigua, Kevin Pietersen produced a fine hundred as England batting first, making 104. However Ian Bell (77) provided his only real support as England collapsed to 247 all out, losing eight wickets for 83 runs.
In reply, Ricky Ponting managed the chase beautifully, making 86, before Michael Clarke came to the middle and saw Australia home with an unbeaten 55.
The Australians went on to claim a third successive title, beating Sri Lanka in the final.
England and Australia met in the teams’ World Cup opener four years ago and it was current skipper Aaron Finch who was the star man, making 135 as Australia powered to352/9.
George Bailey chipped in with 55 and Glenn Maxwell scored a 40-ball 66, while Steve Finn did his bit to stem the flow with a hat-trick on his way to 5/71.
That total proved far too much for England, although James Taylor showed a lot of resistance on his way to 98 not out. Mitchell Marsh with the pick of the Australian bowlers, taking 5/33.
As in 2003 and 2007, Australia went on to lift the trophy, seeing off New Zealand in the final, while England missed out on the quarter-finals.
As he had four years previously, Finch scored a hundred in the first meeting between the teams at this World Cup, making exactly 100 as he and David Warner put on 123 for the opening wicket.
England fought back well to restrict Australia to 285/7 but that would prove more than enough.
At Lord’s, where Australia have had such a good record at both Test and ODI level, they were exceptional with the ball once again.
Jason Behrendorff (5/44) and Mitchell Starc (4/43) raced through England’s top order, the former removing James Vince with the second ball of the match.
Ben Stokes provided some resistance, making 89 before Starc removed him with a stunning yorker to end any slim hopes England still had.
Australia eventually ran out winners by 64 runs, but as the two teams meet for the second time at this World Cup – the first time this has happened – England will have an opportunity for revenge and a return to Lord’s.