Chris Woakes saluted England’s “incredible” eight-wicket demolition of Australia as the hosts swaggered into their first World Cup final since 1992.
Woakes won the man-of-the-match award at Edgbaston after taking 3-20 in a lethal eight-over spell that included the key wicket of opener David Warner.
Thanks to Woakes and fellow pacemen Jofra Archer, Australia collapsed to 14-3 and never really recovered as they were dismissed for 223.
England took just 32.1 overs to reach their victory target and book their final date with New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.
Woakes admitted it was a perfect day for England, who have never won the 50-over World Cup.
“I’m pretty speechless. It was an incredible performance from the whole team, started well with the bowling and then the batting was outstanding,” Woakes told Sky Sports.
“The way we have produced the goods shows how good we are and we’re really pleased.
“I don’t think it was a bad wicket, we just found the right length and they had to rebuild and we kept the pressure on.
“We got off to a flyer and when chasing a relatively small total, that’s the difference.”
Woakes admitted England’s stars had been nervous ahead of their country’s first World Cup semi-final since 1992, but they quickly banished the butterflies with a blistering start.
“There were some nerves around this morning, a few anxious people in the dressing room but that’s natural,” Woakes said.
“I just got my length wrong for the first ball. A world-class player in David Warner is going to put that away. But I got my length right after that and felt good.”
England have lost all three of their previous World Cup finals, against Pakistan in 1992, Australia in 1987 and the West Indies in 1979.
Australia captain Aaron Finch admitted his side were “outplayed”.
Losing to their arch-rivals in front of a gleeful Edgbaston crowd was a painful way for Australia to surrender the trophy they had won four times in the past five tournaments.
But Finch, who was out for a duck, conceded England had been far superior.
“We were totally outplayed today. We expected the new ball to seam a little but they bowled a great length, hitting the stumps a lot,” Finch said.
“We had to have a lot things go right for us. We had to take our chances and bowl them out.
“We tried to take wickets but when you are aggressive with the ball and they are aggressive with the bat, things can happen very quickly.”