Eng beat Aus in thriller 1st T20

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Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 17:46 [IST]
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Eng beat Aus in thriller 1st T20

England pulled off an incredible win over Australia in the first Twenty20, at Adelaide, winning the match by 1 wicket with no balls left. After a flying start thanks largely to quick-fire innings from Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen, England slumped to 99/4 and lost wickets steadily as the latter order cameto the fore. Debutant Chris Woakes made a match winning 19 not out from 15 balls to take England to victory after the visitors overcame an onslaught by Shane Watson who took 4/15 off his 4 overs.

England's innings began with much drama. In just the first delivery, O'Keefe dropped Ian Bell at square leg, off Shaun Tait. The batsman immediately made the Aussies pay for that reprieve as he smacked the bowler for three consecutive boundaries - two through mid-wicket and one, through the covers.

With Lee bowling his first over in international cricket in over a year, Bell's partner Steven Davies got after him, unleashing a drive through the covers for four. But in the very next ball, the bowler had Davies caught by captain Cameron White at short cover for 4 off 2 balls.

The new batsman Kevin Pietersen, settled in with a four through the gap at cover. England were 21/1 at the end of 2 overs. Tait was in for more bad luck when in the first ball of the 3rd over, Warner spilled a catch from Bell at gully. Rubbing salt into Tait's wound, Bell discharged a violent uppercut over the third man boundary for six. England had raced to 33/1 in 3 overs.

Pietersen got back into action, drilling Lee for a long-on four, before Bell followed suit with a boundary off his own in the same over. England had moved to 45/1 in 4 overs. But when Mitchell Johnson came onto bowl, he apparently had the answer to Bell's belligerence and had him caught by Steven Smith in the covers for 27 off 17 balls.

Then the English captain Paul Collingwood strode out to bat and got off the mark with a four to fine leg. England had crossed 50 in 5 overs! Pietersen went hammer and tongs at Steve O'Keefe in the 6th over, clobbering him for a four and then a six, before getting out caught by David Hussey at mid off for 25 off 11 balls. England were in trouble for the first time in the match at 63/3 ibn 5.3 overs.

Two new batsmen in Collingwood and Eoin Morgan were at the crease. Johnson followed up with a tight 7th over, conceding just 4 runs. And after O'Keefe got in a relatively quiet 8th over, it seemed Australia had finally stemmed the run flow. But Collingwood couldn't be kept quiet and got Johnson away for another boundary in the 9th over.

But the bowler just gave away one more run in the entire over as the pressure shifted back onto England. The visitors had slipped to 79/3 in 9 overs and required another 79 for victory. But the runs were now only trickling by as the bowlers had started to tie down the batsmen.

Morgan finally broke the spell of no-runs when he smashed Lee for a six and then a four in the 11th
over. At the start of the 12 over, England required 63 off 54 balls. But after conceding 4 singles, Hussey had Collingwood caught behind for 16 off 20 balls as England had fallen to 99/4 in 12 overs.

Realising the mantle to keep the momentum going had fallen on him, Morgan pulled Tait behind square for a four. But just two balls later, the bowler trapped new batsman Luke Wright plumb in front for a duck. England were reeling at 104/5 in 12.4 overs as Tim Bresnan walked to the crease.

In his first ball itself, Bresnan swatted Tait for a long-on boundary to reduce the equation to 49 off 42 balls. Morgan then got after Hussey in the 14th over, spanking him for two back-to-back boundaries. At the end of the 14th over, England needed 39 more runs from 36 balls.

Morgan and Bresnan got on their running shoes, scurrying 3 doubles off Johnson in the 15th over, before Morgan ran another single and Bresnan then took 3 more to round off the over. The tourists had thus brought the required run-rate to under 6 as Watson came onto bowl the 16th over.

The bowler then got a timely breakthrough when he had Morgan snapped up by Hussey at short cover. Morgan was on his way for 43 off 33 balls and England were in some bother at 130/6. But Watson increased Australia's fortunes by removing Michael Yardy with the next ball and England were floundering at 131/7 in 16 overs.

The visitor's tail was exposed now with Chris Woakes and Bresnan struggling to make runs. But Woakes showed the hosts what he was made off by pulling Tait for a high and handsome six over midwicket. England needed 19 off the last three overs. But early in the 18th over, Watson removed Bresnan for 11 leaving the tourists looking at the bottom of their barrel at 141/8.

The tourists needed 15 off the last 2 overs, as Lee got back into the attack. No. 9 batsman Graeme Swann and Woakes scurried a flurry of singles before Woakes cut a loose ball from Lee past point for four to bring the equation down to 8 off 8. The Swann picked Lee for three more runs.

With England needing 4 off the final over, Watson removed Swann first ball as England now needed 4 runs off 5 balls with 1 wicket in hand. But Woakes cracked two runs and then took a single to bring England home.

Batting first, Australia got off a circumspect start with the usually hard-hitting David Warner and
Shane Watson subdued in the first couple of overs. They picked the debutant English pacer Chris Woakes, for just 4 in the first over an in the second, just a couple off Ajmal Shahzad.

But the batting duo hit their stride soon enough, with Warne smacking Woakes for two back-to-back fours in the 3rd over and then Watson joining in on the fun with another boundary later in the over. The hosts had raced to 20 in 3 overs. Then the same batsman went after Tim Bresnan, knocking two boundaries off the seamer in the 4th over.

The batting pair tried to keep up the momentum which began to dip a little. Watson smashed Shahzad for one boundary over mid on in the 5th over and after a quiet 6th, Warner came down heavily on slow left armer Michael Yardy, getting him away for two more fours. With those shots, Australia had reached their 50.

Watson licked his lips when Graeme Swann came onto bowl, sending the off-spinner for a hat-trick of sixes and then followed it up with two doubles and a four. A massive 26 runs had come off the 8th over in what could well be the turning point in the game as Australia had surged to 76/0 in 8 overs.

But Yardy put an end to the blitzkrieg when he bowled Watson in the next over. The batsman had played his part though, scoring 59 from 31 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes to his credit. One-down batsman David Hussey, took his time to settle in as Australia moved to 86/1 in 10 overs.

Then Warner started to up the ante, taking Yardy for a double and then two balls later, swinging at him for a mid on boundary. But Yardy had the last laugh when later in the over, he had the batsman caught by Sahzad for 30 off 28 balls. Australia were wobbling at 92/2 in 10.5 overs with two relatively new batsmen at the crease in Hussey and captain Cameron White.

A couple of quiet overs followed as the hosts sneaked past 100. After the batting duo just pushed for one and twos for three overs straight, Hussey finally broke the boundary drought when he struck

Woakes for a four to fine leg in the 15th over. But with the last ball, Woakes picked up his maiden Twenty20 International wicket when he had White caught by Pietersen at long on. Australia were in a spot of trouble at 115/3 in 15 overs.

The new batsman Aaron Finch and Hussey again looked for mainly ones and twos as the big hits were becoming harder to come by. But Finch came back with a powerful cut past point for four off Bresnan in the 17th over, before two balls later Hussey, carted him for a huge six. But in the very next ball Bresnan bowled the batsman for 28 off 27 balls and Australia were 133/4 in 16.5 overs.

The next man to take guard Steven Smith and Finch, settled into the same old routine of picking singles which was the only apparent option with Yardy coming back to bowl.

Then Bresnan compounded the hosts' woes with a frugal 19th over, conceding just 3 runs. But the batsman scurried like rats in the last over, from Sahzad, taking 13 runs in all from it as Australia climbed to 157/ 4 at the end of the innings.


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