England v Australia: Marcus Stoinis can’t deliver in final over as Aussie collapse gifts Poms victory

England beat Australia by two runs in a last-ball thriller as they won the first Twenty20 international at Southampton on Friday to go 1-0 up in a three-match series.

The Aussies were cruising to victory at 124-1 chasing a target of 163, with openers David Warner (58) and skipper Aaron Finch (46) getting them off to a sound start.

But Australia, in its first competitive match for nearly six months because of the coronavirus, lost four wickets for nine runs and an eventual victory target of 15 off six balls proved beyond the world’s top-ranked Twenty20 side as England, second in the standings, held its nerve.

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England captain Eoin Morgan bumps fists with Australia’s Marcus Stoinis post-game. Picture: Andrew Matthews/POOL/AFPSource:AFP

Marcus Stoinis had the chance to win the match for the visitors off the last ball – with a six giving Australia victory, and a boundary sending the game to a super over – but could only manage two runs from a Tom Curran yorker.

The Aussies came under-scrutiny post-game for poor shot selection in the chase, including Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell – who both surrendered their wicket to Adil Rashid at crucial moments, giving England the momentum.

But skipper Aaron Finch defended his players post-match, describing the loss as a learning experience.

Steve Smith ramps a delivery during his short 18-run knock. Picture: Dan Mullan/POOL/AFPSource:AFP

“We knew England were going to keep coming hard and I think they executed really well,” said Finch, who blasted 46 from 32 balls at the top of the order but was unable to turn it into a big score.

“We probably just struggled to find the boundary a bit in that 12 to 18 over mark, and it’s something we need to keep working on.

“That’s not the first time it’s happened so as long as the boys keep leaning and continuing to improve at it, (then) lesson learnt.

“I think they (Smith and Warner) were both playing to our game plan, so if you can separate the execution and the game plan you can look a bit deeper into it.

“But no, I think the T20 game is about taking your options and matching that up with the right game plan.

Glenn Maxwell reacts to losing his wicket. Picture: Dan Mullan/POOL/AFPSource:AFP

“I’d probably be more critical of myself and Davey (Warner) who got us off to a good start, and neither of us really kicked on to have a matchwinning contribution.”

Warner, opening alongside Finch, managed 58 from 47 balls before being bowled by Jofra Archer.

Earlier, England, sent into bat, were restricted to 162-7, with only Dawid Malan (66) and Jos Buttler (44) making significant scores.

Australia paceman Kane Richardson took 2-13 from three overs and occasional spinner Glenn Maxwell 2-14 from three.

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Originally published asHorror Aussie collapse sees Poms draw first blood

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