Mitchell Marsh Keeps His Cool
Australia grabbed a consolation win as they beat England in the last over with five wickets to spare. Mitchell Marsh kept his cool in the final match of the three-match Twenty20 series at the Ageas Bowl.
Aaron Finch won another toss and this time elected to chase. Perhaps in an attempt to exorcise the demons of the first match.
The captains decision was justified when his bowlers restricted England in the early overs. Josh Hazlewood removed the dangerous Tom Banton for just two whilst Jonny Bairstow was truly slogging his way back into form at the other end.
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Jonny Bairstow Hits Slow Half-Century As England Struggle
Bairstow tried in vain to get the hosts off to a flyer but the Yorkshireman struggled to find the boundary.
Eventually, as he was joined by Moeen Ali and Joe Denly in quick succession, Bairstow got going and stuck 55 off 44 deliveries including three sixes and three fours.
England ended up on 145-6 from their 20 overs, with leg-spinner Adam Zampa picking up two wickets for the loss of 34 runs.
In pursuit, appearing for the first time in the series, Matthew Wade opened the batting and got the tourists off to a brisk start with a ginormous six over square leg off Jofra Archer.
Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis carried the fight as the pair took the green and gold’s to 70-2 before Tom Curran removed Stoinis.
Glen Maxwell came and went before Finch himself was undone by a delightful googly from Adil Rashid.
Mitchell Marsh Gives Australia Consolation Win
When Rashid removed Steve Smith for three, England may have fancied their chances of a repeat of the first match which saw an Aussie collapse.
However, lightning did not strike twice on the south coast as Mitchell Marsh (39*) and Ashton Agar (11*) calmly took the visitors over the line with three balls and five wickets remaining.
The victory meant the series finished 2-1 in England’s favour, but comes as a timely boost in confidence ahead of the start of the one-day series beginning on Friday night at Emirates Old Trafford.
The ODI series gives Australia a chance to perhaps used their younger talents. These include Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams and Riley Meredith.
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