Dubai: Jos Buttler’s quickfire fifty (71 off 32) and Chris Jordan’s sensational bowling (3/17) powered England to a convincing eight-wicket win over Australia in a Super-12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, here on Saturday.
This was England’s third successive victory. They are at the top position in Group 1 points table of the tournament.
England bowlers — Chris Jordan (3/17), Chris Woakes (2/23), and Tymal Mills (2/45) chipped in with wickets to bowl out Australia for 125 in 20 overs.
Chasing a small target, Jason Roy (20) and Jos Buttler (71) gave England a flying start. Both Buttler and Roy dealt in boundaries and took England to 66/0 after the powerplay.
Australia finally broke the partnership through Adam Zampa, who trapped Roy in front of the stumps. However, the wicket did not slow Buttler’s knock. He smacked Starc for two more fours before bringing up his fifty with a massive six.
Agar then dismissed Dawid Malan (8) with the arm ball. Jonny Bairstow (16) and Buttler smashed Zampa for three sixes in the next over. This brought to bring the required runs down to single digits. Bairstow hit the winning runs for England as they got home with 50 balls to spare.
Earlier, batting first, Australia were off to a terrible start. England pacers made good use of the slight covering of grass on the surface.
Chris Woakes gave England the first breakthrough in the 2nd over of the innings as induced an outside edge from David Warner (1), who had just got back into form in the previous game against Sri Lanka. Chris Jordan then struck off his first ball as Woakes at mid-on took a sensational one-handed catch tumbling backward to dismiss Steve Smith (1).
The right-arm pacer Woakes continued his fine show, trapping the dangerous Glenn Maxwell leg before wicket. Both Jordan and Woakes kept the lid on scoring as Australia finished the powerplay with just 21-3 on board. Rashid was brought back into the attack after the fielding restrictions were lifted. He made an instant impact, outfoxing Marcus Stoinis (0) with the googly to trap him in front of the stumps.
Matthew Wade (18) and Aaron Finch then checked the fall of the wickets and tried to revive the Australia innings, taking the team to 41/4 at the halfway stage. However, England spinners Adil Rashid and Liam Livingstone continued to stifle Aussie batters.
Considering the slow scoring rate, one batsman had to switch gears and it was Matthew Wade, who gave away his wicket during the process. Australia’s innings never got the momentum and they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Finch saw his fellow mates implode at the other end and even the skipper couldn’t accelerate. In the end cameos by Ashton Agar (20), Pat Cummins (12), and Mitchell Starc (13) helped the Aussies post a respectable total of 125-10 in 20 overs.
Australia 125-10 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 44; Chris Jordan 3/17, Chris Woakes 2/23) lost to England 126-2 in 11.4 overs (Jos Buttler 71, Jason Roy 22; Ashton Agar 1/15)