Australia once again played like the defending champions to solidify their position at the top of the points table. In the 37th match of the ICC World Cup 2019, reigning champions Australia continued its sensational run, registering a convincing 86-run victory over New Zealand at the Lord’s. The New Zealand dented the Australian batting line-up quite early in the first innings reducing them to 92 for 5.
However, despite Boult’s phenomenal hat-trick, Australia managed to reach a fighting first innings total of 243 runs on the back of Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey’s wonderful efforts with the bat. In the second innings, Aussie pace spearhead Mitchell Starc once again in this tournament bowled amazingly well to leave the New Zealand team in complete shackles as they got bundled out for 157 runs. He claimed his second five-wicket haul of the competition and also increased his highest wicket taking tally to 24 scalps.
"We've always spoken about peaking towards the back end of the tournament, and we're still searching for that perfect performance. We're not quite there yet. We're showing glimpses of what we are capable of with the ball and with the bat and in the field, but we have still got room to improve, and that's exciting for this group,” quoted Mitchell Starc after the match.
"We've got to play our best game in the semi now and hopefully better than that in the final, and that's what tournament play is all about. If we keep continuing to improve every game, whether we play New Zealand or India or anyone, we're going to have to plan really well and then execute on the day. It's a great result beating New Zealand, but one win is not going to win you the World Cup," he added.
Records don't mean much if we don't win the World Cup: Mitchell Starc
Starc believes that it won't mean "much if Australia don't win the World Cup." Only five other players now have more than Starc's tally of 46 World Cup wickets, but Starc has an average of 12.97, that none of the others come close to.
"Records don't mean much if we don't win the World Cup. I'm just stoked to be playing a part in this group and continue to contribute. A big part of our victories is our calmness and I think that's probably led by Finchie [captain Aaron Finch]. He's been fantastic as a captain. I think there's a real sense of calmness around the whole group, not just from the bowlers but from Finchie to all the fielders,” Starc entailed.
"Even when things are not quite happening for us, it's still very calm. We still know what we want to do. It goes back to the execution. It's that clearness as a whole group out on the field is what's probably instilling that confidence in the bowler to execute what they want to do," the speedster concluded.