The Financial Express

Clinical England humiliate Australia by eight wickets

| Updated: October 30, 2021 23:03:59

Photo: ESPNCricinfo Photo: ESPNCricinfo

England annihilated their arch-rivals in a very one-sided affair at a high-voltage fixture by 8 wickets with 50 balls to spare. 

In response to the target of 126, England got off to a flyer. The opening pair of Jason Roy and Jos Buttler belted the Aussie bowlers all around the park. This partnership added 66 runs in the powerplay, which is the highest score inside the PP this tournament so far. 

Adam Zampa came into the attack in the seventh over of the innings and took only a couple of deliveries to get rid of Jason Roy (22 off 20). 

Roy’s wicket, however, had very little impact on Buttler as he continued smashing the ball everywhere to reach his half-century in just 25 balls. 

Amidst all that carnage, Ashton Agar removed Dawid Malan, albeit too little too late. 

Jonny Bairstow then joined Buttler in the six-hitting party as the pair finished the game off in the twelfth over. Both Buttler and Bairstow remained unbeaten at 71 runs off 32 deliveries and 16 runs off 11 deliveries respectively. 

Winning the toss, England decided to bowl first. Realising that there was just enough seam movement on offer, the Three Lions moved away from their ‘three-overs of spin in the powerplay’ plan and continued with five overs of seam bowling.

This change of plan paid dividends as Chris Woakes removed David Warner and Glenn Maxwell while Chris Jordan claimed the wicket of Steve Smith. At the end of the powerplay, Australia were in all sorts of trouble, reeling at 21/3, the lowest PP score in Super 12 so far. 

Adil Rashid came back into the attack for his second spell as soon as the field restrictions were off and picked up Marcus Stoinis for nought to slide the Aussies into further trouble at 21/4. 

Afterwards, Australia managed to get a couple of partnerships away but, on each occasion, just when the pair looked to inject some impetus in the scoring rate, England managed to find a breakthrough.

The 30-run partnership between skipper Aaron Finch and wicket-keeper Matthew Wade (18 off 18) and the 47-run partnership between the former and Ashton Agar (20 off 20) ensured their team getting something on the board to bowl at.

Pat Cummins (12 off 3) and Mitchell Starc (13 off 6) struck a few lusty blows in the last 14 deliveries to have the target cross the 120 mark. 

Captain Finch was the top scorer for Australia. Although he could not quite get his timing right throughout his innings, he somehow dragged himself to 44 runs off 49 deliveries. 

In hindsight, after getting knocked over at a way below par score, the Aussies might feel that the selection of Ashton Agar to fulfil the fifth bowler slot at the expense of a far better and in-form batter Mitchell Marsh was not really the right decision. 

For England, apart from Tymal Mills, all the other bowlers - Rashid, Woakes, Jordan, Livingstone were perfect in their lines and lengths.

In fact, they were so good that Moeen Ali, who played a pivotal role in their previous two games -- especially during the powerplay, did not even get an opportunity to bowl today.

Chris Jordan was the best of the lot as he claimed the Player of The Match award for his spell of 3/17 in four overs.

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