Australia pulled off an inspired performance in the field to keep England down to 132, chasing 148 for victory and thus levelled the Twenty20 series 1-1. Aussie fast bowler Mitchell Johnson lead the attack with 3/35 while Shane Watson pitched in with 2/17 in his four.
Bell for belligerent! England opener Ian Bell gave his side a flying start when he smashed Shaun Tait for two fours and then ran a triple off him. But Tait's new ball partner Brett Lee, restricted the English openers to just 2 runs in the 2nd over. Bell and Steve Davies scampered singles and twos to squeeze 9 runs off the third over as England moved to 22/0 in 3 overs.
They continued the routine into the fourth over, running a total of 8 runs off Lee. Davies finally broke the no-four spell when he hit a boundary off Watson in the 5th over as England moved to 39/0 in 5 overs. Bell and Davies then teamed up to take 11 runs off Mitchell Johnson in the 6th over as the visitor's score touched 50.
The batsmen didn't seem to be tiring from all the running they were doing. Davies took 3 doubles off David Hussey in the 7th over while Bell began the 8th over with another two. But at that juncture, Bell ran out of steam, getting bowled to Johnson for 39 off 30 balls. England were 60/1 in 7.2 overs, but became 62/2 when Johnson had Pietersen caught by captain White at cover for 1.
With Steve O'Keefe coming on in the 9th over, Davies upped the ante, taking him for a four as England moved to 72/2 in 9 overs. Watson tied down Collingwood and then had him caught by Warner at mid-off for 6. England were floundering at 74/3 in 10 overs. One of England's heroes of the previous match Wion Morgan, joined Davies out in the middle.
The tourists were having trouble getting a move on as no boundaries had come their way in the previous three overs. But Morgan ended the four-drought in the next over, when he got Johnson away. However, in the following over,Watson struck back to have Davies caught by Warner at mid-off for 29 off 26 and England were in serious distress at 88/4 in 13.1 over. Hussey followed up with a frugal 15th over, before England crept past 100.
Luke Wright tried to lift the flagging rate with a boundary and a couple of doubles in the 17th over, but was out caught by Steven Smith at mid-off for 18 off 15 balls. England had slumped to 112/5 in 17 overs, requiring 36 off the last 3 overs. In the second ball of the 18th over, Johnson saw the back of Morgan when the batsman picked out Finch at deep midwicket. He was out for 14 off 21 balls and England were in dire straights at 119/6 in 18 overs.
Chris Woakes and Tim Brsnan tried to keep England's hopes alive in the last two overs. Woakes even hit a six off Lee in 3rd last ball, but England fell short of Australia's total by 4 runs at the end of 20 overs.
Winning the toss and opting to bat first again, Australia got off to a quiet start with openers David Warner and Shane Watson just pushing the ball around for a couple of singles in the first over. But they initiated a crescendo in the next over, when the pair ran two doubles off Ajmal Shahzad and Warner struck a four. Australia had raced to 26/0 after 3 overs.
Then Watson began the third over by carting Chris Woakes for a six, and after he and his partner scampered a few runs, Warner rounded off the over with a four past mid-on. In the fourth over, Watson got after Shahzad, smashing him for a huge six over midwicket, before Warner followed up with a boundary.
But Watson had played one shot too many when he picked out Morgan at deep square leg off Woakes. Australia were 37/1 with the danger man headed back to the shed. But new batsman Tim Paine, wasn't going to waste any time settling in. He lofted Woakes for another six and then ran two doubles to take his side to 49/1 in 5 overs.
Then Paine welcomed Tim Bresnan with an aggressive uppercut four. He then attacked the off-spinner Graeme Swann, getting him away for a four in the 7th over. But just two balls later, the bowler had him caught by Paul Collingwood at short midwicket for 21 off 12 balls. Australia had slipped to 63/2 at the end of 7 overs.
But there was much more trouble in store. After a couple of quiet overs, Yardy got Warner out for 30 off 26 balls and in the very next over, Swann trapped captain Craig White plumb in front for a duck. Just one over after that development, Yardy pegged back the hosts further when he had Hussey snapped up by Woakes at midwicket for 8. Australia had stumbled to 80/5 in 12 overs.
New batsman Aaron Finch settled in quickly to take Australia to 100 in the 15th over, courtesy a boundary off Pietersen. The batsman began the 17th over by hammering a six off Pietersen over mid-off, and then three balls later, smacked him for a boundary through the covers. Australia had climbed to 118/5 in 17 overs. In the 19th over, Shahzad got Smith out for 13 of 18 balls and Australia were 131/6 with 8 balls left in the innings.
At the start of the last over, Bresnan bowled Steve O'Keefe for 1. Then Finch and Johnson got their running shoes on as they scurried 4 doubles to take the total to 147/7 at the end of 20 overs. Finch remained unbeaten on 53 off 33 balls with Swann and Yardy taking 2 wickets each.