England took on Australia in a Group 1 Super 12 game in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at Dubai International Stadium. And it was one-way traffic for England and the Aussies have questions to answer. As it happened below...
A ruthless allround performance by England saw them running down traditional foes Australia by eight wickets and ensure themselves a semi-final berth of the ICC T20 World Cup here.
Putting Australia on the backfoot right from the word go, Eoin Morgan’s men were left to chase a modest target of 126 to win – something they did in emphatic style in 11.4 overs. Jos Buttler (71 not out off 32 balls) came out all guns blazing as Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow chipped in with quick cameos on a perfect batting surface.Earlier, after being left reeling at 21 for four at powerplay, skipper Aaron Finch held on with a gritty 44 while his 47-run stand with Ashton Agar was the only partnership of some substance against some incisive bowling from Chris Woakes, Jordan and the spinners. Agar fell for 20.
However, it was too little, too late against a marauding England...
That's it. England were all over their traditional rivals for a sweeping eight-wicket win. 126/2 off 11.4 overs and a semi-final berth of course.
Jonny Bairstow shows he can one better than their opening batters - toys with Zampa in one over to drag him from outside off and then again another one for two sixes. Well, England are a good hit away from victory.
Malan falls to Agar but England are on the threshold of 100-mark before it's halfway. Smart bowling from Agar to induce the nick on a wicket which offers no grip for the spinners.
When Buttler gets going, you just wait and watch. This time, he dispatches Zampa over the long on region against the spin to reach half-century. 55 off 25 balls, four sixes and as many fours - just to give you an indication of his dominance.
England lose Roy on 22 as he tries for another reverse sweep off Agar. A positive verdict comes after review and England are 66/1 as Malan comes in.
Buttler services on offer for England. He takes on Starc over one of the longest boundaries, not once but twice, for sixes in an over as England cross the 50-mark in a jiffy. They don't really have to bother about the run-rate but are clearly looking at an early finish.
Now, it's Buttler's turn as he leans to get into this Agar delivery pitched wide and hits it to a distance of 91 metres. The duo coming into their own gradually.
That's first six of the England chase as Roy finds it in his arc to belt Cummins over the longer side of the boundary. 27/0 after three overs.
England begin their reply on watchful note. It's heartening to see Cummins, Hazlewood getting some movement off the seam but the ball is coming on to the bat ever so nicely.
Australia, put on the mat inside the powerplay, were on the backfoot right through after being sent into bat to manage a below-par total of 125 against England this evening.
Left reeling at 21 for four after powerplay, skipper Aaron Finch held on with a gritty 44 while his 47-run stand with Ashton Agar was the only partnership of some substance against some incisive bowling from Chris Woakes, Jordan and the spinners. Agar fell for 20.
The only hope for Australia lies in Mitchell Starc & co getting some early breakthroughs, but this England team bat deep. The scales are definitely tilted in England’s favour at the moment.
Australia finish at a modest 125 all out and it's definitely not enough in these conditions. Starc and Hazzlewood run back to the pavilion at the innings end, the intent being clear. They will go flat out to go for an early breakthrough and make a match of it.
OUT! Finch,44, and Cummins,12, are the seventh and eighth wickets to fall. England has missed nothing at the deep today but Bairstow pulled off a stunner off Jordan at long on. 111/8 now.
OUT! Agar falls for 20, but his 47-run stand with Finch showed enough character. Australia reach 110/6 with two overs to go and should be looking at nothing less than 140.
The nightmarish start has left Finch and Agar no choice but not to try and lose wickets and save it for the last. However, the English attack is unrelenting and someone has got to give. The Australian captain is the only man acapable of doing it but it's not easy to get away Jordan at the death.
Livingstone ends his spell at one go to finish at 4-0-15-1. He doesn't shy away from tossing it up, gets a bit of drift and can spin the ball. Come the IPL mega auction, he will be a big deal.
OUT! Wade tries to clear the boundary off Livingstone but ends up at Jason Roy's hands at long-on. The wicketkeeper-batsman hung on for a while with his captain but at 51/5, England are tightening the noose.
A double-pronged leg spin attack with Rashid and Livingstone in tandem. How often do you see this in T20 cricket? Apart from keeping up the pressure, England will also through the overs rather quickly. They are in absolute control to tie Australia down at 41/4 at halfway mark.
The arsenal of this England side is quite awe-inspiring. Morgan decides to hold back Moeen Ali and brings in leg spinner Liam Livingstone to attack Finch. 32/4 after eight.
OUT! Nothing going right for Australia at the moment as Rashid, brought back from the far end, keeps Stoinis guessing with his googly and the allrounder is leg before. 21/4 and it's a huge task for Finch and Wade to soak up the pressure as well coast to a reasonable total.
It looks Woakes' decision to skip the IPL has paid off in a bid to stay fresh for World T20 and the Ashes. Morgan hands him the third over as well and he ends it with 3-0-7-2. Australia 21/3 after powerplay.
OUT! A disastrous start for Australia as they lose Maxwell, 6, lbw caught at the crease by a Woakes delivery which came back off the seam. It's been all about Woakes so far as he is sticking to a Test match length here and getting the movement. Australia 15/3
OUT! Morgan applies pressure by bringing on Chris Jordan and it pays off right away. Smith (1) tries a pull of Jordan but fails to get the elevation and Woakes brings about a spectacular one-handed catch. Australia struggling at 8/2 in a pressure game.
OUT! Warner, on 1, prods to a delivery from Chris Woakes which was shaping away and Buttler accepts it gleefully. Australia 7/1 as the Australian opener's doubts return once again.
England start with Adel Rashid. Aaron Finch steps out to a tossed up one for the first four of the game as Australia are 6/0 after first over.
England have named an unchanged squad but Australia have brought in Ashton Agar instead of Mitchell Marsh with an eye on the slowing wickets. Intriguing.
Australia: 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch (capt), 3 Steven Smith, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Ashton Agar, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood
England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jos Buttler (wk), 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Chris Jordan, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Tymal Mills.
Talking of cricketing history and rivalries, and it's the oldest one. For the statistically inclined, Australia are 10-8 ahead in head-to-clashes in this format while one game ended with no result. In T20 World Cups, they are 1-1 which includes England winning the 2010 final in emphatic fashion. What's going to happen tonight?
England win toss and will field
Welcome to Dubai International Cricket Stadium for the big game. England captain Eoin Morgan wins the toss and has, quite predictably, chosen to field.
Fireworks expected in high profile clash tonight
By Gautam Bhattacharyya, Senior Associate Editor
Dubai: England and Australia, the two table toppers in Group I of Super-12s stage, will clash in a high profile match this evening at the Dubai International Stadium.
Watson backs Aussies to win
While both teams have kept their sheets clean with two wins from as many games, Eoin Morgan’s men have been hardly tested in their two wins against the West Indies and Bangladesh, respectively. Their traditional rivals, Australia, who seemed to be getting their act together in the second win against Sri Lanka with David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch getting back their touch, are capable of taking them on.
The match is being looked upon by some as a clue to the upcoming Ashes series, but as of now it’s a key game to determine the group toppers – which will eventually determine the semi-final match-ups. Over to Dubai…