T20 World Cup: Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan lead the way as England crush Australia

Jos Buttler hammers an unbeaten 71 off 32 balls to seal the team’s third victory after Jordan and Woakes help bowl out for 125 in the Group 1 T20 World Cup game in Dubai.
T20 World Cup: England beat Australia by 8 wickets(ANI )
T20 World Cup: England beat Australia by 8 wickets(ANI )
Updated on Oct 30, 2021 10:55 PM IST
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ByVivek Krishnan, Dubai [uae]

the 2021-22 Ashes series in Australia is still more than a month away, but the early exchanges during their T20 World Cup clash in Dubai on Saturday provided a teaser of what to expect when the two teams don the whites. A tinge of grass at the Dubai International Stadium meant the conditions were surprisingly favourable for seam bowling early on after England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and opted to bowl.

It allowed Chris Woakes (2/23) and Chris Jordan (3/17) to hit probing lengths and put the Australian batters through a stern examination during the opening six overs. The Aussies—reduced to 21/3 at the end of the powerplay—were never really able to recover as they limped to a below-par total of 125.

HIGHLIGHTS: ENG CRUSH AUS

The difference between the two sides was highlighted starkly when England’s turn to bat arrived. They were chasing a small total alright, but the 2016 T20 WC finalists ensured that an emphatic statement was made. To Australia’s misfortune, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler were in the zone and put together a staggering partnership of 66 in just six overs. Buttler (71*-32b, 5x4, 5x6) got to his half-century in just 25 balls, toying with the likes of Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa as if they were novices. The victory was achieved in just 11.4 overs with eight wickets in hand, giving England their third consecutive win.

The odds were always stacked in England's favour once they found those early breakthroughs with the ball. Morgan actually began proceedings with the leg-spin of Adil Rashid, but Woakes’ (2/23) first over from the other end quickly made him realise that there was enough seam movement to exploit.

Woakes’ innate strength is his ability to bowl testing lengths and prey on the uncertainty of a batter. It caused David Warner’s undoing as a tame poke outside the off-stump was pouched by Buttler behind the stumps. Expect the English bowlers to keep bombarding him with that nagging line through the Australian summer.

With the presence of seam movement established, Jordan was introduced into the attack to complement Woakes. The 33-year-old joined in on the act with the wicket of Steve Smith straightaway. The ball was short and wide, but the Australian’s pull caught the toe end of the bat. Woakes simply could not be kept out of the action, pulling off a stunning one-handed catch while running backwards.

Australia were 8/2 and on the backfoot in a blink, but their wounds were going to deepen. If there was one batter in their squad who could have pulled them out of trouble, it was Glenn Maxwell. Not on Saturday. He never looked comfortable during his fleeting 9-ball stay. His first ball was a play and a miss as an outswinger from Jordan went past Maxwell’s outside edge. The ball moved the other way in Woakes’ next over and had the in-form Aussie trapped leg-before wicket.

By the time the powerplay finished, any hopes of Australia regrouping were futile. Soon enough, Marcus Stoinis was also dismissed as Rashid’s well-disguised googly thudded into the big-hitting Australian’s pads.

Finch saw the procession of wickets from the other end but wasn’t able to do much to change the course of the game. It eventually took a few lusty blows from the likes of Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins and Starc for Australia to get to the total they did.

The contest on Saturday reiterates the changing dynamics of the England-Australia rivalry in white-ball cricket. While the men from Down Under dominated these contests until a few years ago, England are undoubtedly the superior outfit currently.

Brief scores: Australia 125 (Aaron Finch 44; Chris Woakes 2/23, Chris Jordan 3/17). England 126/2 in 11.4 overs (Jos Buttler 71*). England won by 8 wickets.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Vivek Krishnan is a sports journalist who enjoys covering cricket and football among other disciplines. He wanted to be a cricketer himself but has gladly settled for watching and writing on different sports.

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