Australia nails England by 36 runs in the T20 World Cup

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ouble crown world champions Australia left the hopes of defending champions and arch-rivals England progressing in the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup hanging by a thread.

David Warner and Travis Head set a solid foundation with the best Power Play in the tournament so far before Adam Zampa and Pat Cummins led disciplined Australian bowling to formalise a 36-run win for their side in the Group B match on Saturday at Kensington Oval.

Solid batting down the order led by Warner, whose 39 off 16 balls was the top score, and Head enabled the Aussies to reach 201 for seven after they were put in to bat before a crowd of more than 11 000 at the iconic ground.

England reached 54 without loss after the Power Play, but Zampa bowled opener Phil Salt with his first delivery of the match, leading to a momentum shift that Australia rode to victory, restricting their opponents to 165 for six.

Jos Buttler, the England captain, led all scorers in the match with 42, Salt made 37, Moeen Ali got 25, and Harry Brook was not out on 20.

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Cummins ended with two for 23 from his allotted four overs, and Zampa finished with two for 28 from his four overs to earn the Player-of-the-Match award.

Australia now top the group with four points, and England are fourth in the five-team table on one point, and require results in other matches in the group to fall their way for them to reach the Super Eight quarterfinals.

“I think the way that we started with the bat gave us a really good opportunity to look at what they did wrong with the ball and then what they did well in the middle overs,” Zampa said.

“And just looking at what their spinners did, it was obvious there was a little bit of spin and bowling into the wicket also meant that there were a few balls skidding and that’s my strength, so I kind of stuck to that, and then bowling to the shorter boundary later, just tried to get it under the bat, bowl for yorkers as fast as I could and executed it well.”

Adam Zampa bowled magnificently to push the game in Australia’s favour. (Photo by Zahir Motara)

He added: “I think they (England) were under the pump, and it showed. It’s hard to bowl to those two (Warner and Head) in the Power Play, and if your bowlers aren’t summing up the conditions quickly, I guess it can be frustrating, and Heady and Davey took advantage of it.

“We try not to be like that, we speak about it a bit. Our leadership isn’t like that. They are very calm, and I think that helps us as bowlers as well.”

Warner, playing in his final tournament for Australia on the international stage, shared 70 for the first wicket with Head, and Australia closed the Power Play on 74 for two – the best effort inside the first six overs in the tournament so far.

A string of Australian batsmen got starts, but they failed to carry on – their captain Mitchell Marsh made 35, Head got 34, Marcus Stoinis, whose half-century was the cornerstone of their first win against Oman this past Wednesday, scored 30, and Glenn Maxwell added 28.

Barbados-born pacer Chris Jordan was the most successful England bowler taking two for 44 from four overs and became only the second English bowler to take 100 wickets in T20 Internationals after off-spin bowling teammate Mooen Ali with 108.

“We were outplayed by Australia,” Buttler said. “They fully deserved the win. I think there’s a little bit of things we want to tidy up – but they played well with intent right at the start, put us under a lot of pressure.

“I thought we fought back relatively well, but I thought their bowling performance was excellent. I think especially those middle overs, I think we got off to a really good start, but the way they controlled those middle overs made it tough to hit boundaries. I thought they bowled very well to defend the score.”

Group B continues on Sunday, when Oman play Scotland at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua, where Australia face Namibia on Wednesday under the lights, and England meet the Omanis the following day.

Adriel “Woody” Richard

 


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