Australia vs England, 1st T20I, Top performances: Jos Buttler-Alex Hales' 132-run stand, David Warner's 73 and Nathan Ellis' 3-20 are top performances. England beat Australia by 8 runs and lead series by 1-0.
Brief Scores: England 208/6 (Hales 84, Buttler 68, Ellis 3-20) beat Australia 200/9 (Warner 73, Wood 3-34, Topley 2-36) by 8 runs
Player of the Match: Alex Hales - 84 (51) & 2 catches
After defeating West Indies 2-0, Australia are now facing their arch-rivals England for a 3-match T20I series just before ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. On Sunday, Australia faced England in the first T20I at the Perth Stadium. In what was a run-fest at the venue located in Western Australia, the visitors ended the two-match winning streak of the hosts, on the back of their brilliant attacking batting display and fierce bowling thanks to Mark Wood for his brilliant opening spell breaking Australia’s back and ending up with 4-0-34-3 at a decent economy of 8.50 runs per over.
England’s tried and tested T20I template working well
The form of England batters, particularly the openers, has to be the main talking point. With Jos Buttler and Alex Hales both scoring quick 50+ runs in Perth, the team management will be particularly delighted with their performances.
It is also a validation of England’s tried and tested T20I template where their batters go hard from ball one to put scoreboard pressure on the opposition. In their skipper, Buttler and Hales, they have one of the most fearsome opening combinations going around which will prove to be a big challenge for bowling attacks in the upcoming world cup even on the big Australian grounds.
England openers pile on 132 runs in the first 11 overs to drive Australia out of the contest
It was not a pleasant evening for the Aussies today, unlike their last two matches. Australia skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and opted to field on a flat Perth deck which unfortunately backfired for his side. England openers put up a show worth watching scoring a mammoth 132-run partnership with Alex Hales (84) and Jos Buttler (68) absolutely destroying Australia’s bowling attack.
Right arm pacer Nathan Ellis was the pick of the Aussie bowlers, bowling quite brilliantly in a high-scoring encounter, giving away only 20 runs in his quota of 4 overs and chipping in with 3 crucial wickets of Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali (10) and Sam Curran (2).
Australia in reply came back strongly after losing one of their openers Cameron Green cheaply for just 1. David Warner’s red-hot form continued unabated and he proved once again why he is one of the best in the business scoring a quickfire 44-ball 73 ending up as Australia’s top run-scorer in the match.
The match went down to the wire and Australia needed 16 off 6 in the last over with Mathew Wade batting. Though Sam Curran’s brilliant death over bowling skills got the better of Wade in the third ball and sealed the deal for England as they won by a fair margin of 8 runs.
Let's look at the top three performances from the first T20I between England and Australia in Perth.
Alex Hales and Jos Buttler go all out with a 132-run opening stand
Jos Buttler has been a shining light in the shortest format of the game this year, and he continued to shine in this game as well. Buttler, who was making his comeback after not being able to participate in the series against Pakistan, didn’t look rusty at all scoring 68 runs at a whopping strike rate of 212.50. He played his shots all around the park as usual and was brutal on Australia’s pacers, playing his trademark scoop shots at regular intervals.
Alex Hales, on the other end, who is on a comeback trail after serving a ban which was struck on him by the England Cricket Board (ECB), has shown that he belongs at this level. His recent form in the Big Bash League (BBL) has been something special, playing for Sydney Thunders.
Hales, alongside Buttler, got hold of the Aussie pace attack and absolutely thrashed them. The England opener scored 84 runs off just 51 deliveries at a strike rate of 164.70.
Nathan Ellis picks three-fer
Nathan Ellis’ performance in Sunday’s match was something quite extraordinary. Coming into the squad after not getting chances in both the matches against the West Indies, he didn’t look off colour at any stage.
Bowling an economical and wicket-taking spell of 3-20 in his quota of four overs in such a high scoring match takes something special. Nathan Ellis dismissed the dangerous looking Buttler in the 12th over who was all set to score his 2nd T20I hundred. Furthermore, Nathan also got the wickets of Moeen Ali and Sam Curran, not allowing England’s score to go past 220 and restricting them to 208/6.
David Warner getting into the groove
The pocket sized dynamite exploded once again but this time it was England at the receiving end. David Warner fought like a lone warrior in the midst of a dark jungle. Warner scored a quickfire 44-ball 73 at a strike rate of 165.90.
The Australia opener struck 8 boundaries and 2 maximums during his stay at the crease. David had a couple of partnerships – first a 71-run second wicket stand with Mitchell Marsh (36) and then a 53-run fourth wicket stand with Marcus Stoinins (35). But these efforts could not sustain longer to take Australia home and the home side fell tantalisingly short of the target by 8 runs in the final analysis.
What’s to Come
The two sides will now move east to Australia’s capital Canberra where they will play the last two T20Is of this series at the Manuka Oval on October 12 and 14, respectively.