Aaron Finch proud of team despite semis rout

Birmingham: Aaron Finch insisted he was proud of Australia’s progress in the last 12 months despite their embarrassing World Cup semi-final thrashing against England on Thursday.

Finch’s side slumped out of the tournament in limp fashion as England swept to an eight-wicket win at Edgbaston.

Finch, who was out for a duck, conceded it was Australia’s worst performance of the World Cup.

But the skipper was adamant Australia were still in a better place now than last year, when they crashed to a 5-0 one-day international series defeat in England.

“Really proud of where we have come from and the gains that a lot of players have made over the last 12 months in particular,” Finch told reporters.

“But at the same time we came here today to win a semi-final and get ourselves into a position to win another World Cup.

“So that was really disappointing how it ended, especially to put up probably one of our worst performances overall for the tournament.”

It was a tame end to a promising campaign for the five-time champions, who had welcomed disgraced stars David Warner and Steve Smith back into their squad ahead of the showpiece event.

Warner stood out with three centuries to make his mark after returning from a ball-tampering ban along with Smith. It was Smith’s gritty 85 on Thursday that lifted Australia past 200 after they lost their top three for just 14 runs.

But Finch admitted they lost the match in the first hour of play against an inspired England pace attack led by Chris Woakes, who claimed three key wickets.

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