Last Updated: 11/07/19 10:19pm
Chris Woakes says England have momentum heading into the World Cup final and can be helped by the home support at Lord’s
Chris Woakes admits he thought England’s hopes of a maiden World Cup title could have been over after their group-stage slump.
England suffered back-to-back defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia to leave their hopes of reaching the knockout stages in danger.
But they rallied to beat New Zealand and India in must-win games and then trounced Australia by eight wickets at Edgbaston on Thursday to earn a showdown with the Black Caps at Lord’s on Sunday.
“I’m delighted, given a few games ago when we were under pressure to qualify – we probably didn’t even think this was possible,” said Woakes, who claimed 3-20 from eight overs against Australia.
Woakes impressed on his home ground in the semi-final win over Australia
“The manner we have done it against India, New Zealand and Australia puts us in a good place. We know we can beat anyone on our day if we put in performances, like we did [against Australia].
“Semi-finals are usually nervy and often tight so to win the way we did was incredible.”
Woakes was drilled for four by David Warner from the opening delivery of Thursday’s semi-final but responded by nicking off the left-hander for nine and bowling Peter Handscomb for four as Australia tumbled to 14-3 inside seven overs after electing to bat.
The Warwickshire seamer then dismissed Mitchell Starc late in the innings as the defending champions were rolled for 223, a total England topped with 107 balls to spare, thanks principally to Jason Roy (85 off 65).
Alec Stewart says Jason Roy ‘puts fear into the opposition’ with his attacking batting style.
“From a personal point of view, obviously my first ball I’d like to have back but other than that I hit my straps well and found the right length on that wicket,” added Woakes.
“To bowl them out for the total that we did was incredible.”
Joe Root (49no) and Eoin Morgan (45no) guided England to their target in the 33rd over after Roy – who hammered Steve Smith’s leg-spin for three consecutive sixes – and Jonny Bairstow (34) had thumped an opening stand of 124.
“The way Roy and Bairstow played the first four or five overs was outstanding – they absorbed pressure and then when they got used to the surface they cashed in,” said Root.
“It settles the dressing room when you get off to a start like that, it makes life so much easier. Even if Jason plays some hairy shots at times you still feel very calm. It is so much fun to watch as well!”
England and New Zealand are both looking for their first World Cup title and Root says his team will have to take their game to “another level” to beat the side who toppled India in the semi-finals.
Watch the moment England beat Australia to reach their first World Cup final since 1992
“New Zealand are a clever side – they think outside the box and will do things differently,” Root added of the 2015 finalists.
“They have some world-class players who have turned it on and won some close games. They are a formidable team who always punch above their weight and love the big occasion.
“We are going to have to try and take our game to another level, as we have done in the last three games.”
Watch the World Cup final between New Zealand and England live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 9am on Sunday.