After the first Twenty20, England would have felt that can compete with Australia in the Twenty20 series. Stuart Broad also referred to his batting line-up as ‘scary’ as they almost chased down an improbable target of 212 runs in the first Twenty20. But it’s not supposed to be true as Josh Hazelwood’s four wicket haul restricted England to a mere 130 runs on a challenging surface at Melboune. Australia’s Cameron White batted with ease and took Australia to another series win the current series against England.
England’s dangerous top order batsmen did not make an impact after winning the toss and deciding to bat first. Alex Hales played an important role in England’s series levelling win in the second Twenty20 at home last year, but failed to provide his team a good start.
Hazelwood removed the dangerous Hales and Michael Lumb in the space of 14 balls. Luke Wright was unfortunately run-out for a duck to leave England on the brink at 42/3 off five overs. With Joe Root and Eoin Morgan’s task was to consolidate the situation, Australia pacers didn’t allow them to settle down.
Eoin Morgan’s job was to rotate the strike and stay till the end to ensure England post an imposing score to challenge Australia. But he was dismissed in the 11th over as the latter had misunderstanding with Joe Root and was eventually run-out for only 6. Joe Root followed Morgan as he was also run-out in the next nine balls and left England wobbling at 63/5 with 69 balls remaining in the innings.
The damage was already done by Australia. They removed England’s key players within the first ten overs which had them on the backfoot. The job was now left to the England’s lower order to get them to a decent score.
Ravi Bopara and Jos Butler are capable of striking the ball well and could have been a dangerous players at the death overs. But Australia bowlers were accurate and did not provide enough room for the batsmen to free their arms. However Jos Butler’s 22 and Bresnan’s 18 was important as it helped England set a target of more than 6.00 runs per over for Australia.
Australia had no problems as they had to chase below 150. Anything above 150 would have been a challenging one for Australia. They had two explosive openers who are in good nick. Aaron Finch played a blinder in the first T20 and Cameron White has been in prolific form. So Australia knew if they had a good start England would be out of the contest.
Though Finch didn’t get much of the strike, he managed to make use when he got the opportunity. He scored only 10 runs, but when he was dismissed Australia were in a good position at 48/1 in five overs. A cool and collected White, together with George Bailey took Australia to a comprehensive nine-wicket win to secure another series for Australia.
England have some serious problems after this defeat. Although they had good batsmen, they could not make use of them effectively. But Australia’s bowlers varied their length which unsettled their strikers. England will play for pride and let us see if they can pull-off a win in the third Twenty20 match.
England 130/9 off 20 overs (Hazelwood 4-30)
Australia 131/2 off 16.2 overs (Bailey 60* White 57*)