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'Dream come true' for Behrendorff after lengthy injury battles
Australia News

'Dream come true' for Behrendorff after lengthy injury battles

Jason Behrendorff said his match-winning bowling spell of five for 44 against England was a surreal moment for him after persistent injury woes threatened to cut short his nascent career.

The 29-year-old suffered a stress fracture in 2015, two years before he made his international debut, and has continued to deal with back problems.

Although Behrendorff has since then focused his attention on the limited-over format, he still believes he has a chance of making it into Australia's Test line-up.

A surprise inclusion in the World Cup squad, Behrendorff's bowling heroics at Lord's seem to be a reward for his prolonged struggle with fitness issues.

In just his second game of the tournament, the left-arm seamer sealed Australia's spot in the semi-finals - the first team to qualify for the knockout stages.

"Some days during all the rehab periods you think 'am I going to get back?'" Behrendorff said after Australia bundled out England for 221 inside 45 overs.

"It's one of those things you dream of as a kid, to play cricket for Australia and to come here at Lord's to get five wickets. Not quite sure if it's sunk in yet to be honest, but it's something I will treasure.

"You don't play cricket for the accolades but to take five wickets here is something special."

Behrendorff represented Australia for the first time in ODIs in January just this year against India.

Despite the lack of experience, Behrendorff registered his maiden five-wicket haul in the high-stakes clash against the World Cup hosts.

The hectic schedule of the round-robin format may not allow much rest to Behrendorff but he expressed his satisfaction at being able to deliver a memorable performance.

His debut World Cup appearance fetched him an unimpressive 1-59 against Sri Lanka.

"It was huge to repay the selectors," he said. "When you get off to a good start, you get your foot on the throat and you don't want to let it off. We continued to do that throughout the innings."

'Cummins and Starc gave me valuable advice'

Behrendorff credited compatriot pacers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins for sharing important tips during the match which ultimately paid off for him.

"Mitch and Pat have played a lot of one-day cricket. To be able to chat to them about how they go about it, especially in the middle overs, how to get wickets, that's really valuable," he said.

"We made an effort to pitch it up and hit the stumps as much as possible. We noted it was something England didn't do. "

Defending champions Australia are riding high on confidence heading into the semi-finals as all three aspects of the game are being productive.

Behrendorff, however, emphasized Australia are not favourites to retain the World Cup trophy regardless of their current form.

"No I don't think so," he said. "The competition is still very open. England are still a great side, probably still the favourites as the home country.

"For sure, momentum is a big thing in tournament play. Hopefully we can win the last two games and go into the semis with some real momentum."