An 87-run stand between Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan guided England to a six-wicket victory over Australia in the second of the three-match T20I series, meaning that the Eoin Morgan-led side now has the series in their pocket. Australia, batting first, rode on the back of some hard-hitting prowess of their middle-order after being down at 89/5 after 13 overs. Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Agar then combined for 43 runs to take their side to 157/7.
That total, however, turned out to be an easy target as the home side won the game with seven balls left. While England were on top of their game with their bowling attack, Dawid Malan once again characterised his sheer brilliance with the bat. Despite a slow start, having scored 15 off as many balls, Malan upped the ante during the middle-overs to not only provide great support to Buttler but also scored 42 off 32 deliveries.
Since the turn of the year, England have won as many as five T20Is (two against South Africa and Australia each and one against Pakistan) but this particular game at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Sunday provided several moments for the archives. And having said that, here, we look at what transpired during the game:
England's red-faced review against Aaron Finch
Adil Rashid, while bowling the seventh over of the game, delivered a perfect loopy leg-break to the Australian captain Aaron Finch. The skipper took it on the front foot and was able to defend it with relative ease. Jos Buttler, however, thought the ball had hit the pad first and was able to convince Morgan to opt for a review. As it turned out though, the ball had literally hit the middle of the bat, leaving the entire England team red-faced.
Four overs later, the Aussie captain was eventually shown a way back to the pavilion by Chris Jordan, who picked two wickets on the night.
Eoin Morgan's a superhero
England captain Eoin Morgan suffered a gruelling finger injury in the first innings of the game, and despite a clear dislocation, he managed to recover quickly and came back on the field. The 33-year-old dived in to prevent Marcus Stoinis' drive through the cover in the ninth over, but the ball hit the top of his finger, causing a lucid dislocation. The captain was taken off the field for some treatment and he heroically returned in the very next over, missing only three balls during the tenure.
Earlier in the game, Morgan had dived to dislodge the bells and run-out Steve Smith; yet another show of extreme athleticism, which received praise from the fans. The incident happened in the final ball of the fifth over when Smith went for a quick single. Morgan, who was standing at short mid-wicket, showed his awareness and cleanly released the bells to send Smith back.
Bairstow's bizarre dismissal
England opener Jonny Bairstow is yet to make an impact against Australia in the ongoing series, having scored a total of 17 runs across two T20Is. He, in fact, got off to a good start in the second game but gave away his wicket rather cheaply. Up against Mitchell Starc in the third over, the opener attempted a pull shot in response to the bowler's short delivery but went on to dislodge the bells with his bat in the aftermath of the stroke.
The wicket, however, didn't have any sort of impact as England registered an easy win over the Aussies.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dan Mullan