England crush Australia in the T20 World Cup

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Dubai
Australia 125 (20 overs): Finch 44 (49); Jordan 3-17, Awake 2-23
England 126-2 (11.4 overs): Butler 71 * (32)
England won by eight wickets
Scorekeeper. Tables

England edged out Australia in a memorable eight-field victory to move closer to a place in the semi-finals of the men’s T20 World Cup.

Jos Buttler snapped a brutal 71 failed with just 32 balls as England raced to a goal of 126 with 8.2 overs to spare.

Eoin Morgan’s team dominated early on, reducing Australia, unbeaten in their previous two games, to 21-4 in Dubai.

Chris Woakes knocked out David Warner and Glenn Maxwell and produced an excellent one-handed catch to discard Steve Smith for one.

Lower-order hitting and captain Aaron Finch’s gutsy 49-ball 44 took Australia away before they were eliminated by 125 on the last ball. It would probably never be enough.

Buttler threw five huge sixes as the chase turned into a procession, the England support contingent in the crowd chanting and dancing in their seats.

It was Australia’s biggest defeat in the T20 in terms of balls remaining and it kept England’s perfect start to the tournament.

They have three solid victories in three games and rank at the top of Group 1, with the top two advancing to the semifinals.

England will play Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Monday before ending the group with a match against South Africa at the same venue next Saturday.

England humiliates its oldest rivals

Despite being ranked number one in the T20 rankings, even England would not have expected to have had such a perfect start to the World Cup.

The West Indies were released by 55 and Bangladesh squashed aside with ease, but this victory, against his older rivals, was absolutely sensational.

In the end, amid Buttler’s extraordinary hitting, it seemed like the teams were playing sports of a different age.

The starter splashed the top tier of the bleachers en route to a 25-ball fifty that included two sixes on two off-beat pitchers from pitcher Starc.

After the loss of Jason Roy by 22 and Dawid Malan by eight, Jonny Bairstow joined Buttler for the final moments. When he pitched two of his own, Captain Morgan was shaking his head in disbelief.

England’s performance felt remarkably similar to their famous eight-wicket blowout against Australia at Edgbaston in the 2019 50-year-old World Cup semi-finals.

Carry on in this way and England could back up that success and become the first men’s team to host both World Cups at the same time.

‘A T20 Batting Masterclass’

Former captain Michael Vaughan described England as “the best” and the “most destructive” team in the tournament.

When asked what his reaction to the victory was, a typically underrated Morgan said. “Fairly good.”

England’s all-rounder Liam Livingstone was a bit more effusive. “We saw a T20 batting masterclass from Jos,” he said. “As clinical as can be.”

Former Australia hitter Stuart Law said: “It has been a horrible night for Australia.

“England have shown their class in this format. They are full of confidence and they know their roles, and when you do, the game becomes very easy.”

Bowlers put England on the road

As impressive as the chase was, England did indeed win the match with early terrain.

The closers found movement under the lights of Dubai and, for the third game in a row, England won two wickets in the first three overs.

Woakes knocked out Warner with his second ball, caught behind a thin edge by one, and caught Maxwell lbw for six on his second round.

Between those grounds, Woakes, jumping back in the middle, kept Smith away from Chris Jordan, while Bairstow then took a good long-time catch to cap off another near-flawless display of England fielding.

Jordan caught Finch at long distance and pitched Pat Cummins for 12 with a perfect yorker to give him 3-17 numbers, his best in a T20 for England since 2019.

Liam Livingstone was also effective, conceding just 15 runs in four overs that also included Matthew Wade’s wicket.

It was the full England performance.

The worm showed the huge contrast between the two entries.

‘Buttler played an incredible tackle’ – what they said

England Captain Eoin Morgan: “Jason was the man of the match last time and he showed that intention again here and then Jos did the same and started kicking from there.

“They organized the chase and in the end they made it quite comfortable.”

Australia Captain Aaron Finch: “England played well and put us on the defensive early, that’s why they’ve been the best in the world for a while.

“We had to get them out, there were no problems there, but Jos Buttler played an incredible inning. It was just one of those nights.”

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