Australia beat New Zealand by 86 runs to establish themselves as the favourites to lift the World Cup.
Australia won the toss at Lords and opted to bat first, but it was the New Zealand bowlers that made the better start. First, Aaron Finch was trapped plumb in front of his stumps and was lbw to Trent Boult, and then Lockie Ferguson got one to lift on David Warner, and he edged behind to the wicketkeeper. Then Martin Guptill produced one of the catches of the World Cup, a stunning one-handed effort at backward point as Steve Smith fell to the bowling of Ferguson. Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis tried to repair the damage with a stand of 35, but then Stoinis got an edge on a delivery from Jimmy Neesham, and was caught behind for 21. Neesham then made another fine catch of his own, sprawling to his left to have Glenn Maxwell caught and bowled.
At that stage Australia were 92 – 5, but Khawaja and Alex Carey then joined together as Australia mounted a fightback. Together the pair put on 107, before Carey, who had scored at a run a ball, fell for 71, caught by Guptill at extra cover off the bowling of Kane Williamson. Khawaja added a further 44 with Pat Cummins, but then Trent Boult took a hat-trick in the last over. Fist Khawaja, who had held the innings together, was bowled for 88. Starc went the same way next ball, and Jason Behrendorff was lbw. At the end of their innings, Australia were 243 – 9, with Cummins unbeaten on 23.
New Zealand though were pegged back at the start of their innings, against tight, disciplined bowling. The pressure told when Henry Nichols was caught behind off Jason Behrendorff, who then removed the other opener, Guptill, caught behind. Williamson and Ross Taylor started to build a platform with a stand of 55, but Mitchell Starc then returned to the attack to have Williamson caught behind for 40.
Taylor and Tom Latham put on 21, but then two wickets fell in the space of three balls, Taylor caught behind off the bowling of Pat Cummins for 30, and then Colin de Grandhomme falling first ball, caught Khawaja, bowled Smith. And then Starc struck again to have Latham caught by Smith for 14.
The Kiwis were in desperate trouble by then, and Neesham’s was the next wicket to go, caught and bowled by Nathan Lyon. He was soon followed back to the pavilion by Ish Sodhi, lbw to Starc. And then Starc struck again in his next over, bowling Ferguson for a duck. And then Starc wrapped up proceedings by having Mitchell Santner caught by Jason Behrendorff for 12, as New Zealand were bowled out for 157, with more than six overs still to be bowled.
Starc finished with figures of 5 for 26.