(CNN)Australia was left bruised, bloodied but unbowed during a thrilling opening to its World Cup semifinal clash against England at Edgbaston on Thursday.
Alex Carey was left with a bleeding gash on his chin after being struck by a ferocious delivery by England’s Jofra Archer as Australia recovered from a disastrous start to finish 223 all out after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Wicketkeeper Carey entered the action with Australia having lost its first three wickets for just 14 runs as the defending champion’s top order was blown away by the England pace duo of Archer and Chris Woakes.
It was Archer’s delivery that drew gasps from the crowd, as the ball rose up to knock off Carey’s helmet before hitting the chin and drawing blood.
As the blood started to trickle down Carey’s chin, the team doctors raced onto the field to apply dressing to the wound and wrapped the player’s chin with a bandage which was woven around his head.
There was no malice in Archer’s delivery, which knocked against the grille of Carey’s helmet, sending into hurtling into the air before the batsman caught it and ensured his stumps remained intact.
For someone playing in only their 29th one day international, Carey showed remarkable poise and courage after the incident, hitting 46 in a partnership of 103 with Steve Smith, before having his wound stitched up after leaving the field.
Smith, a lightning rod for abuse from England supporters, endured his now customary hostile reception, as he walked out to bat.
Few England supporters have forgotten Smith’s transgression. He along with fellow Australian David Warner received a 12-month ban from all forms of cricket last year after being found guilty of ball tampering.
But while there is some comic nature to booing and jeers aimed at Smith, there is also grudging respect.
One of the world’s most talented batsmen, Smith fought hard for his 85 as Australia attempted to rebuild after a disastrous start to its innings.
Archer, one of the stand out bowlers of the tournament so far, removed Australia captain Aaron Finch for none before Woakes had Warner caught behind to leave Australia 10-2.
Peter Handscomb, drafted into the team without having been part of the original squad, made just four before Woakes rearranged his stumps with a beautiful delivery.
Never in its previous seven World Cup semifinal appearances has Australia failed to reach the final. Yet at 14-3, Australia was creaking, but as so often has been the case, Smith took control.
Alongside Carey, the duo added 103 to nudge their side to within grasp of a respectable total.
Carey, in particular, looked in good touch. His contribution of 46 off 70 deliveries was even more impressive given the knock to the face he took earlier in the innings.
But once Carey had departed, caught on the boundary off the bowling of spinner Adil Rashid, England attempted to press home its advantage.
Marcus Stoinis was dismissed without scoring while the dangerous Glenn Maxwell made a quickfire 22 off 23 deliveries before Archer struck once again.
Rashid then had Pat Cummins, his third victim of the day, caught at slip by Joe Root for six to leave Australia on 166-7, which brought Mitchell Starc to the crease.
The new batting pair adding 50 between them before Smith was wonderfully run out by Jos Buttler for 85.
Starc followed the very next ball,edging Woakes behind to Buttler for 29 off 36 to leave Australia 217-9.
Mark Wood then applied the finishing touch, bowling Jason Behrendorff for one to end the Australia innings and leave his side needing 224 runs for a place in Sunday’s World Cup final against New Zealand.