Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been a vocal supporter of the Three Lions in the ongoing 2019 World Cup and there was no shortage of joy and excitement from him when the hosts made it to their first World Cup semifinal since the 1992 edition. Powered by yet another masterful ton from Jonny Bairstow, England registered a massive 119-run win over New Zealand on Wednesday to enter the top four.
Eoin Morgan and his men, who are guaranteed to finish in third place, will play in the second semifinal - at Edgbaston on July 11 - against the team that finishes in second place. That is currently India.
Back-to-back defeats, to Australia and Sri Lanka, meant the knockout stage started early for England and the tournament hosts responded to being in a perilous situation by winning pressure-filled matches against India and now New Zealand.
New Zealand are currently two points ahead of fifth-place Pakistan, whose final group game is against Bangladesh at Lord's on Friday, but are highly unlikely to lose their place in the top four because of a far superior net run-rate than their rivals. Pakistan must beat Bangladesh by a margin in excess of 300 runs - something never before achieved in ODI history.
It means the Black Caps are already preparing to play the first semifinal in Manchester on Tuesday when they will have to find momentum from somewhere, having lost to Pakistan and Australia before its group closer against England.
Considering all the permutation and combination, it is certain that England will meet two-time winners India in the second semifinal to be played in Birmingham on July 11.
England's rising fortunes over the last week have also raised former skipper Vaughan's optimism so much so that it led him to issue a warning to Virat Kohli and Co.
Vaughan was impressed with Morgan's role as a leader and praised the team's overall 'strong mentality'.
27 yrs since we reached our last World Cup Semi Final ... The job @Eoin16 has done with this One day team is remarkable ... 2 more huge efforts and you just never know ... #CWC19 ... I declare it #BeerOclock 👍— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 3, 2019
Well, what happens in Birmingham on July 11 is yet to be seen but it will surely be a cracker of a contest between the two modern-day ODI powerhouses.