England captain Eoin Morgan (right) and Joe Root celebrate victory in their World Cup semi-final against Australia

Birmingham (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Eoin Morgan’s England humbled defending champions Australia by eight wickets in a lopsided World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Chasing 224 for victory, the hosts romped home in 32.1 overs, with opening batsman Jason Roy scoring a dominant 85.

AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the match:

Roy raises the roof

Jason Roy took the spotlight away from his in-form opening partner Jonny Bairstow, pummelling the Australian attack to seize the initiative.

Roy has made a huge difference since returning from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss three league games, hitting his third successive half-century.

England's Jason Roy in action against Australia in the World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston

He was watchful at the start of his innings but changed gear by hitting Mitchell Starc for a four past mid-off in the fourth over.

Sparing nobody, he took a particular liking to Steve Smith’s leg-spin, hammering the part-time bowler for three towering sixes in successive balls.

Roy smashed nine fours and five sixes during his 85-run blitz off 65 balls and was an angry man when given caught behind of Pat Cummins by umpire Kumar Dharmasena.

A dissenting Roy grudgingly walked back to the pavilion but by then the batsman had all but guaranteed England’s place in their first World Cup final since 1992.

Woakes-Jofra hunt in a pair

Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer underlined their status as England’s feared new-ball pair, destroying Australia’s top order with swing and seam.

England's Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer

The Barbados-born Jofra has lived up to the hype surrounding his England call-up, taking 19 wickets in 10 World Cup games.

He struck with his first ball in Birmingham, trapping Australia skipper Aaron Finch lbw for a golden duck and later hit Alex Carey on the chin and drew blood.

Warwickshire quick Woakes was also breathing fire on his home ground, beginning with a ferocious opening spell that saw the back of David Warner and Peter Handscomb.

Man-of-the match Woakes ended with figures of 3-20 and Jofra took 2-32 as England took a firm grip on the match which they never relinquished.

Smith stands the test

Steve Smith has been unfazed by the hostile reception he has received from English crowds after he returned from a ball-tampering ban and once again he took the boos in his stride at Edgbaston.

The former captain led an Australia fightback from the wreckage of 14-3 in the seventh over.

Steve Smith made 85 for Australia in their World Cup semi-final defeat against England

The 30-year-old Smith dug deep in his effort to rescue the Australia innings, putting on 103 runs for the fourth wicket with Alex Carey.

Smith brought up his fourth fifty in 10 innings but had little support from the other end after the fall of Carey.

But his 379 runs at the World Cup prove he has not lost his hunger after the cheating row last year interrupted his flourishing career.