Stunning England thrash Australia to enter final

Updated on Sep 22, 2004 02:58 AM IST

The 6-wicket win was England's first victory over Aussies in 5 years, ending a 14-match losing streak.Full Scorecard || Matchup Zone

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PTI | ByKadambari Murali, Birmingham

The impossible occasionally happens. Schumacher comes second to Barrichello, Tiger Woods appears very human and England beat Australia. Easily. It took over five years coming but England's utterly unexpected six-wicket win over the world champions would have satisfied even the most strident of their many critics.

And perhaps it was fitting that the two men who inspired that win were the men who form the backbone of this rejuvenated England squad - Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan. If Flintoff is the exuberant, guiding spirit and Harmison the spearhead of the near-magical performance, England have put in this season through seven Test wins and in the NatWest Challenge, skipper Vaughan and Trescothick have been the decision-makers who guided their team out of troubled waters.

It's been a while since we've seen Trescothick and Vaughan combine for a match-winning performance of the type expected from them, but on Tuesday they came up with one just when it was most needed. Unfortunately, there weren't very many locals watching their team's first major final entry since the 1992 World Cup (when they lost to Pakistan). It is a miss English fans will regret.

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