Needing just 39 off 34 balls with nine wickets in hand, visitors Australia capitulated in horrific fashion as England emerged victorious by just two runs in the first of the three-match T20I series between the two rivals at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
The two teams will resume their rivalry on Sunday, September 5 at 6:45 pm at the same venue. We pick out two players from each side to watch out for in the second T20I:
Opener Jos Buttler was on song on his return to the T20I fold, smashing 44 off 29 balls before being dismissed by Ashton Agar. The wicketkeeper-batsman has scored 101 runs in his last two T20I outings off just 58 balls at a magnificent strike rate of 174.13. The 30-year-old was in tremendous form in the Test series against Pakistan and has carried it over to the T20I series as well.
Australian opener David Warner played his first T20I since February but continued right where he had left off against South Africa at the Newlands, scoring 58 off 47 balls.
This half-century was Warner’s third on the trot in T20Is and the 33-year-old has now scored 557 runs in his last 12 T20I outings at a ridiculous average of 92.83 and a strike rate of 144.30.
Warner has been incredible in the shortest format of the game and will be the key to Australia’s success in the ongoing series against England.
Opener Jonny Bairstow has been out of sorts since the return of white-ball cricket in August.
In his four T20I outings, Bairstow has scored just 54 runs and with the exception of a 44-run knock against Pakistan in the second of their three-match T20I series, has failed to reach double figures.
With Tom Banton knocking on the door on the back of his brilliant series against Pakistan, Bairstow might have to buckle up and deliver to keep his place in the side.
The enigmatic Glenn Maxwell was the pick of the bowlers from both sides in the first T20I, giving away just 14 runs in his three overs while picking two wickets.
His disappointing outing with the bat, where he scored just a run off two balls, would be of concern to the Aussies as they rely upon the experienced all-rounders to finish the game for his side.
Maxwell’s recent T20I form with the bat has been good, having scored a hundred and a half-century in his last innings with the bat before the first T20I against England, and the 30-year-old will be hoping to rekindle that form in the second match of the series.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dan Mullan
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