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Review: Australia v England (2nd T20)

— 12 February 2018

Glenn Maxwell starred again as Australia hammered England by seven wickets with 5.3 overs to spare in Melbourne to qualify for the Twenty20 tri-series final.

The Aussies have bounced back superbly from their one-day series reverse to England and have won their three matches against England and co-hosts New Zealand at somewhat of a canter.

Maxwell smashed a brilliant century in Wednesday’s clash in Hobart before, in pursuit of just 138, he led the way with another exhilarating 39 off 26 balls.

Only two wins from two against New Zealand, the highest ranked of the three nations at two in the world, will guarantee England another meeting with Australia in Auckland on February 21.

  • They face the BlackCaps in Wellington on Tuesday and again in Hamilton on Sunday.

    England, minus captain Eoin Morgan with a groin injury, were lethargic with the bat having been inserted, and it’s not too often you can say that these days.

    The pitch was certainly not a batsman’s paradise, although England were well short nonetheless with 137-7.

    Stand-in skipper Jos Buttler top-scored with 46 off 49 balls, hitting only three boundaries, while Sam Billings hit the only six of the innings.

    Do not underestimate the impact of Australia’s battery of seamers, led by the tall and fiery Billy Stanlake.

    He finished with 2-28 from his four overs, while AJ Tye also returned 1-29 from four. The most innocuous looking of the three, Kane Richardson, claimed 3-33 and the man-of-the-match award to boot.

    There was a glimmer of hope when David Willey removed out of sorts David Warner in the first over of the chase.

    Warner can’t buy a run at the moment, and it is only his bright captaincy that is keeping him in the side at the moment.

    Unfortunately, however, Maxwell and D’Arcy Short, who was 36 not out, shared 75 for the third wicket before Aaron Finch finished the game off with back-to-back sixes off Willey midway through the 15th over.

    England captain Buttler said: “It was another poor performance.

    “We didn’t quite soak up the pressure with the bat, losing early wickets. The plan was to get going at the back end, but none of us really kicked on. We never really felt like we had enough.

    “Again, the power of Australia proved too much.

    “We haven’t performed to our ability yet, and that’s disappointing. But the beauty of this tri-series is that we’ll carry on to New Zealand. I think we will (have to win them both).

    “We didn’t do ourselves justice in Hobart, and we were determined to bounce back here. We haven’t managed that.”