London: Jason Behrendorff emerged as Australia's new World Cup hero while Aaron Finch and Mitchell Starc were again brilliant as Australia stormed into a World Cup semi-final and left England in disarray after an emphatic 64-run win on Wednesday morning.
Aside from Ben Stokes (89 off 115 balls), who battled a dodgy left calf, England's vaunted batting line up fired rubber bullets at Lord's, sparking suggestions they are flat-track bullies.
"Sand Up and Deliver" screamed The Sun's headline on Tuesday, calling for England to rebound after a shock loss to Sri Lanka. Well, it wasn't to be, with England losing successive one-day international matches on home soil for the first time in four years.
Finch's second century of the tournament had been the backbone of Australia's 7-285, although there had been a wobble, having lost 6-86 in 80 balls.
In reply, Behrendorff announced himself as a major threat, claiming his maiden five-wicket haul (5-44), as England managed only 221 and were bowled out with 32 balls remaining. Having replaced Nathan Coulter-Nile, and in only his second game of this tournament, the left-armer, who moved from Canberra to Western Australia to pursue his career, was superb in his pace and movement.
He set the tone when he speared a yorker through James Vince (0 off 2 balls) on the second ball of England's innings and later had Jonny Bairstow (27 off 39) caught. Bairstow had largely played a steady hand and, with five boundaries to his credit, had done enough to keep the score ticking over. Or so it appeared. Inexplicably, he lost patience and attempted to drag a wide, shortish delivery angled across him to leg side, only for the ball to loop up off his bat and end in the safe hands of Cummins at deep square leg. This left the host nation at 4-53 in the 14th over.
His final spell yielded 3-16 off three overs, dismantling England's lower order. His performance was even more impressive considering he had only eight wickets in seven previous one-day internationals.
Starc (4-43) was also destructive. He knocked over Joe Root (8 off 9 balls) and Eoin Morgan (4 off 7) early and, having returned for his third spell, dislodged the threatening Stokes (89 off 115) with a searing yorker that left the off stump worse for wear.
Australia's sixth win in seven matches, with two remaining, has rubber-stamped a semi-final berth next month, while England may now need to defeat India and New Zealand in their final two games to reach the knock-out stage, having been a pre-tournament favourite.
England have now not beaten Australia at a World Cup since 1992.
While they were defending champions, Australia had largely been overlooked in pre-tournament tipping. That's now changed.
The Australians celebrated with new world No.1 tennis player Ash Barty, who visited the dressingroom post play.
After a mid-innings stutter, vice-captain Alex Carey restored Australia's momentum with an unbeaten 38 off 27 balls to ensure the visitors of a testing total. It was over to the bowlers to then do their part.
Given the new ball, Behrendorff has probably done enough to retain his spot for the remainder of the tournament.
The Australians had publicly declared Root as their No.1 target, for he has been the glue of England's innings. Root had two boundaries in eight deliveries before Starc unleashed a searing full-length delivery which crashed into his front pad. Root did not bother to seek a review.
Australia's plan was clear, for 50 per cent of their deliveries inside the opening four overs were full, searching for swing. But there was variation. Starc had 2-5 off nine balls when he induced Morgan into an ill-timed pull shot off a surprise bouncer in the sixth over. The pace and bounce surprised the England skipper, who could only find a top edge and was caught by Pat Cummins inside the fine leg rope.
Morgan had insisted on Monday that his team had not been rattled by the shock loss to Sri Lanka. His brief stay was not of a calm leader, with close observers even noting how tense England had been in the warm-ups.
Stokes required treatment on his calf and needed Jo Buttler (25 off 27), arguably the world's most destructive ODI batsman, to deliver. Instead, Buttler flicked a mid-pitch delivery off Marcus Stoinis to Usman Khawaja at deep square leg. When Stokes fell almost 10 overs later, this contest was all but over.
On a day Steve Smith and David Warner were booed by the Lord's crowd, Finch provided a superb platform by crunching an even 100 off 116 balls, including 11 boundaries and two sixes.
Enjoying career-best form after the tumult of last summer, Finch passed 50 for the fifth time here and added to the century he posted against Sri Lanka at The Oval but fell immediately after celebrating his century when he top edged a short ball from Jofra Archer and was caught at fine leg.
Finch and Warner (53 off 61 balls) had taken the initiative by enjoying their third century stand of the tournament in a controlled start.
Finch may have dodged a bullet by losing the coin toss; he would have been tempted to bowl first in overcast conditions when the pitch had been covered in the morning because of rain. He and Warner, the most successful opening combination in the tournament, having averaged 86 together before this game, countered the new-ball pairing of Archer and Chris Woakes and made a mess of Mark Wood, who was removed after he went for 24 off his opening three overs.
Finch had some good fortune - he was dropped on 15 off Archer, Vince was unable to hold on to what would have been spectacular "goalkeeper" chance.
England too often fell into the trap of attempting to unsettle the Australians with short balls early in the game. While it had been a success against other nations, taking 12 wickets, it did not work on this occasion.
Finch and Warner's century stand came off 109 balls, including 10 runs off the opening over of leg-spinner Adil Rashid. Finch was the first to acknowledge his half-century, his fifth in seven innings here, and this came off 61 balls with nine boundaries. Warner followed with his half-century off 52 balls, also his fifth of the tournament, and England were in trouble.
After days of chat here about whether he would be booed, Warner was given a mixed reception as he left the field. There was applause, particularly from the MCC members, and some boos from other parts of the ground. The boos were also intertwined with shouts of "Root", who had taken the catch.