Southampton: England beat Australia by 6 wickets and an over to spare in the 2nd IT20 and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match series.

Toss : Australia won the toss and opted to bat first. Both teams were unchanged.

Buttler played a match-winning knock of 77 (54) to take England home.
Image courtesy @thecricketer

Australia lost David Warner early on, only on the third ball of the match when he nicked to Archer. In fact, Archer bowled above 90 mp/h consistently in this match and also bowled the first delivery of his second over at 95.8 mp/h (154 km/h approximately)!

Trivia : Jofra Archer has dismissed David Warner 5 times in international cricket at an average of 10.60.

Australia sent Carey as a floater at number three but the plan backfired after he played a shot too many which gave Wood his first wicket in the game. Australia tried to rebuild their innings but a brilliant run out from Morgan who ran in from mid wicket, sent Smith back. The scorecard read 30-3 after 5 overs. In both the T20s Smith tried to play a much more attacking role by playing a few flamboyant shots especially at the start of his innings. Finch looked good in his 40 run stay and the crease but got out in an unlucky manner when he chopped on to his off stump.

Image courtesy @espncricinfo

Stoinis came out to bat in the middle-order and it is not his natural habitat because when spinners bowl in these overs he has exposed a weakness against them. Rashid bowled a quick leg-spinner and he edged it to first slip. A fielding change that Morgan made as soon as the spinner came on to bowl. Maxwell, who returned to cricket after a year long break looked a little rusty and was eventually dismissed by Jordan. Agar and Cummins fought back to set up a target of 158 for the visitors.

Trivia : Chris Jordan (63) is two wickets away from equalling Broad’s record (65) as the highest wicket taker for England in T20s.

England came out to bat showing good intent but Bairstow got out early in a very rare form of dismissal, the hit wicket, when he tried to dodge a bumper from Starc. After the fall of the first wicket there was no need to look back for England as they had two batsman who were in good touch at the crease. Buttler used the powerplay to his advantage because was comfortable to loft the ball over the fielders and get as many runs as possible and Malan continued his majestic touch from the last game. After the first six overs, England were 44-1.

As soon as the spinners were brought to the attack both players brought out the reverse sweep from their armoury and scored boundaries with the shot. The reverse sweep is turning out to be a very safe and useful shot in international cricket all over the world, if played the right way compared to a few years back when it was only practised by a few. England lost Malan at 106-2 along with Banton and Morgan but the damage had already been done by then and a Jos Buttler six in the end took England to a six wicket victory over Australia with 7 balls to spare taking the series with them.

Image courtesy : skysports.com

Trivia : Buttler averages 49.88 opening the batting for England in T20s, the best for any England opener (minimum 10 innings).

What aspect of England’s game worked for them?

The series so far has displayed the depth that England possesses in their squad, be it the openers or the allrounder’s slot. Imagine when the regulars including Jason Roy, Chris Woakes and Ben stokes return back, what will their team look like! Their side has T20 specialists in Jordan and Curran who have different variations up their sleeve and the experience when it comes to bowling at the death and the raw pace of Archer and Wood upfront.

Image courtesy @englandcricket

What mistakes are the Aussies committing and how can they learn from series uptill now?

On the other hand, despite having a very talented batting order, Australia have got their batting line up a little entangled. Stoinis was picked in the squad based on his performance in the Big bash where he opened the innings for the Melbourne stars. In this team it is difficult for him to play the openers role because of other established players there but playing him at three is an option for the team management. Also, Agar playing at five can be changed because at that position you would like a player who can play the big shots and finish off matches for the team and he is more of a bowling allrounder so Carey who was sent at three would have been a handful down the order.

However, Australia are a champion side, number one in the current ICC T20 rankings for a reason and they would definitely know about the areas they need to improve.

Stats Courtesy : @cricvizanalyst

Other headlines:-

1. IPL schedule out, Mumbai Indians to face Chennai Super Kings in the opener.

2. After Raina, veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh opts out of IPL due to ‘personal reasons’.

3. Sussex opener Phil Salt has been called up as Roy’s replacement for the ODIs vs Aus.

Thanks for reading this blog. Stay tuned for the next one 🙂