AUSTRALIA: England dished out a clinical performance to thwart the hopes of Australia winning on home soil. Australia came close but wasn’t able to get past the English juggernaut.
After Australian skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and opted to field, English opener Jos Buttler (17 off 13 balls) started off the proceedings with a blazing cover drive which went for a boundary off the first ball of the innings.
Buttler perished in the 3rd over as he holed out to Adam Zampa, who managed to hold on to a skier. Alex Hales (4 off 7 balls) found it difficult to get going as his only scoring shot was a lofted drive over the covers, which got him a boundary.
He soon followed his fellow opener back to the pavilion when he was caught by a brilliant effort from David Warner while trying to smash a loose ball from Marcus Stoinis. Ben Stokes (7 off 11 balls) and Harry Brook (1 of 2 balls) departed early without much resistance.
Top-scorer Dawid Malan (82 off 49 balls) toyed with the Aussie bowling attack as he smashed them all around Canberra Park as he and Moeen Ali (44 off 27 balls) put together a 92-run stand for the 5th wicket. Adam Zampa finally gave Australia the breakthrough as Moeen Ali was caught at long off by Tim David.
Moeen Ali’s knock consisted of four hits to the fence and two over it. Both Moeen Ali and Dawid Malan were dropped in the 9th and 15th overs, respectively, which proved costly as Australia had England by the scruff of their neck at 54/4.
Sam Curran (8 off 6 balls) and Chris Jordan (7 off 3 balls) chipped in with a sixer each. Dawid Malan was out in the final over of the England innings as he tried to pull a slower short ball from Marcus Stoinis.
Marcus Stoinis was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up 3 wickets for 34 runs. Adam Zampa claimed two scalps, but he bled 26 runs in his three overs. England’s batting was held to 178/7 in their allotted 20 overs by the bowling pack.
Australia were off to a slow start in their response to the 179-run target as openers David
Warner (4 off 11 balls) and Aaron Finch (13 off 13 balls) looked out of sorts against a disciplined opening spell from the English bowlers. The powerplay overs yielded only 3 boundaries and a six, while both openers lost their wickets.
Finch smashed David Willey (21/1) for boundaries in consecutive overs and perished in the 5th over as he tried to smash another big one. David Warner was caught by Harry Brook off Reece Topley in the very next over.
Mitchell Marsh (45 off 29 balls) started with a bang by hitting Topley for a six and a four off consecutive balls off the third ball he faced in the inning. Glenn Maxwell (8 off 11 balls) was dismissed cheaply by Sam Curran (25/3).
Marcus Stoinis (22 off 13 balls) and Mitchell Marsh upped the scoring rate with some explosive batting. Chris Jordan bled runs as he was taken apart by Stoinis in the 10th over when he smashed the pacer for two boundaries. Sam Curran struck again by having Marcus Stoinis caught by Harry Brook in the 12th over.
Ben Stokes finally got the prized scalp of Mitchell Marsh in the first ball of the 15th over, who was threatening to take the match away from the visiting team. The new man in, Tim David (40 off 23 balls), joined forces with Marcus Stoinis as they kept the momentum going with some extravagant shots.
Sam Curran castled Tim David in the 18th over, who departed after hitting five boundaries and a six. Reece Topley bowled a disciplined 19th over as he gave away only 3 runs, which swung the match in England’s favour.
Matthew Wade (10 off 10 balls) and Pat Cummins (18 off 11 balls) tried to drag Australia across the line but fell short by 8 runs.
Dawid Malan was adjudged player of the match for his crucial innings, which helped England post a competitive total, which proved to be too much for the Aussies.
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