'Unplayable': Mitchell Starc stuns England with 'ball of the World Cup'

Mitchell Starc has produced what many are calling the ball of the tournament, smashing Ben Stokes stumps with an absolute peach at the World Cup.

Australia found an answer to their bowling conundrum on Tuesday, with left-armers Jason Behrendorff and Starc ripping through England to claim a 64-run victory at Lord's.

After captain Aaron Finch hit an even 100 to lead Australia to 7-285, Behrendorff and Starc took nine of England's 10 wickets to roll them for 221 in reply.

While Behrendorff took five and Starc four, it was the latter’s dismissal of Stokes that had the cricket world talking.

Mitchell Starc destroyed Ben Stokes' stumps. Image: ICC/Getty

The English all-rounder was on 89 and threatening to pull off an unthinkable England win, until Starc ended his resistance with a trademark yorker.

The ball swung back through Stokes’ defences and smashed into off-stump, the Englishman dropping his bat in shock before giving it a kick.

“That’s unplayable,” Michael Slater said in commentary, while social media erupted over the absolute peach.

Semi-finals secured

Tuesday's result guaranteed Australia a semi-finals spot and left England's hopes in doubt, sitting fourth with two big games to play after entering the tournament as favourites.

But crucially for Australia it gave them a potential eye to the rest of their tournament, as they have swapped between quicks with questions asked about the depth behind Starc and Pat Cummins.

Behrendorff took 5-44 after being handed the new ball with Starc, swinging it considerably as the pair had England at 3-26 early.

"That's where I guess one of my primary strengths lies, bowling up front, swinging with the new ball," Behrendorff said.

"It was great to be given that opportunity to be able select, as well, with the wicket early doors."

Behrendorff's first wicket was a beauty, swinging back through the gate to bowl James Vince for a duck on the second ball of England's innings.

Jason Behrendorff celebrates with Mitchell Starc. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Starc then got the key scalp of Joe Root when he trapped him plum in front for 8, before he had Eoin Morgan caught pulling at fine leg in his next over for 4.

Behrendorff later returned to have Jonny Bairstow (27) caught on the legside boundary, before mopping up Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer.

"We don't often see (two left-armers), but I don't see why we can't," Behrendorff said.

"Sometimes you play three right-armers, so why can't we play two lefties?

"Mitch and I do do different roles throughout the team."

Starc now has 19 wickets for the tournament, taking his career World Cup tally to 41 at an average of 13.92 and strike-rate of 18.8.

"I've bowled a fair bit with Mitch Johnson in the past and it showed again today there's no reason why you can't play two left-armers," Starc said.

"Especially when conditions suit and when the match-ups suit as well."

Finch had earlier brought up his second century of the World Cup and his seventh against England with an even 100.

Australia's captain got through a difficult early period where both he and David Warner (53) battled with the moving new ball, before accelerating into the innings.

He hit 11 boundaries and two big sixes over mid-wicket and mid-on off Moeen, before he was caught the ball after bringing up his century.

with AAP