England holds on to register stunning victory
Chris Woakes remained calm on his England debut to seal an impressive 1 wicket victory for the current t20 World Cup winners against Australia to register a record 8th straight t20 international victory.
With tensions increasing inside a packed Adelaide Oval, Woakes (19) sealed victory with a last wicket partnership of 4 runs with Ajmal Shahzad (0) after Shane Watson (4-15) had brought the Aussies back into the game with an inspired spell of bowling.
Woakes hit the winning runs from the final ball of the game to seal a stunning victory after Watson had tore through England’s tailenders to leave the Aussies on the verge of victory.
Despite Woakes’ heroics England were indebted to Eoin Morgan who, having had to watch on from the boundary throughout the recent Ashes series took his chance to cement his place in England’s test team now that Paul Collingwood as retired with another glittering performance with the bat.
With England on the ropes Morgan played a superb innings scoring a vital 43 runs which helped England claim a superb victory to ensure they remained unbeaten in 16 series across all three formats of the game.
Faced with a run chase of 158 the visitors run chase got off to a fortunate start when Ian Bell was dropped by Steve O’Keefe at square leg from the first delivery of the game which was bowled by Shaun Tait.
Bell responded to the let off handed to him by the young spin bowler by smashing Tait for three consecutive boundaries as England got off to a positive start.
Despite losing Steve Davies (4) who was dismissed by Brett Lee at the start of the second over England remained positive with Bell joined at the crease by danger man Kevin Pietersen.
Amazingly, Bell was dropped again at the start of the third over by David Warner and he made the Aussies pay once again by dispatching Tait for a massive six over third man.
However the introduction of Mitchell Johnson in the 5th over finally brought the Aussies the luck which had eluded them so far when Bell (27) was caught by Steve Smith in the covers to give Johnson the break through.
Despite losing his partner Pietersen remained positive as he dispatched O’Keefe for a boundary and a huge six which sailed into the stands at square leg.
To his credit O’Keefe remained calm as the young spinner tossed up another delivery which Pietersen (25) tried to dispatch for another boundary but KP could only watch as the ball was plucked out the air by David Hussey at mid-off to leave England 63-3.
With the game evenly balanced Eoin Morgan, a man who watched on as England retained the Ashes joined Paul Collingwood at the crease.
The pair added 33 runs during a quick fire 4th wicket stand which saw Morgan dispatch Lee for a massive six which sailed over the square leg boundary into the hospitality suites.
With the momentum starting to turn towards England the Aussies struck back when part time spinner Hussey got Paul Collingwood caught behind by Tim Paine who held onto to a big tog edge by the England skipper to leave the visitors 99-4.
Luke Wright (0) quickly followed but while Morgan remained at the crease England were always going to challenge the Aussies total and despite his loss in the 16th over when he picked out Hussey in the covers the visitors remained calm.
The tension increased when Yardy (0), Tim Bresnan (11) and Swann (6) quickly followed but Woakes remained calm to steer England towards an amazing victory.
Having lost the toss England fought back to contain the Aussies after big hitting Shane Watson smashed a brilliant half century which threatened to take the game away from the t20 World Cup winners at the Adelaide Oval.
Watson was in fine form with the bat once again registering his 4th t20 international half century but having recorded another excellent 50 he was unable to turn it into a big total when he was bowled by Michael Yardy in the 9th over.
Despite the fireworks from Watson early on, England fought back with Yardy, the pick of the bowlers picking up two wickets as the hosts were restricted to a total of just 157-4 despite reaching 76-0 after just 8 overs.
Having won the toss the Aussies batted first and took advantage of the great conditions as Watson and David Warner built the foundations of an opening stand which would eventfully reach 83 runs.
After a quite start Warner and Watson targeted England new boy Chris Woakes in the third over, dispatching him for 3 boundaries to get their partnership under way much to the delight of capacity crowd.
Despite not picking up any wickets England would have been happy with the way they had bowled as they restricted the Aussies to a total of just 41 runs during the power play overs.
With the power play overs finish England turned to Graeme Swann, just has they had done during the t20 World Cup in the West Indies, but the spinner proved to be ineffective as Watson smashed 3 massive sixes of the bowler in the 8th over.
Watson’s innings quickly ended though just as he had looked in control at the crease when he was bowled by Yardy an over later to leave the Aussies 83-1 after 8.4 overs.
Warner (30) quickly followed when he was caught by Ajmal Shahzad out on the boundary two overs later as England fought their way back into the game.
With the Aussie openers back in the dugout England took control as the boundaries started to dry up with Swann, Yardy and Tim Bresnan taking the pace of the ball leaving Cameron White and David Hussey to pick up one’s and two’s.
White (6) and Hussey (28) played brief cameos before Steven Smith and Aaron Finch ended the innings with a vital 24 run partnership which boosted the Aussies score but England will be confident of chasing down a total of 158 to record a record breaking 8th straight t20 international victory.