Australia thrash England to book final berth

Hosts register comfortable seven-wicket win in Melbourne on Sunday

Reuters February 10, 2018
Australia's Glen Maxwell (L) and D'Arcy Short congratulate one another during the Twenty20 International Tri-Series cricket match between England and Australia at the MCG in Melbourne on February 10, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: Australia's Glenn Maxwell, Chris Lynn and D'Arcy Short fired with the bat to secure an emphatic seven-wicket victory over England as the hosts booked a place in the T20I tri-series final on Saturday.

In front of a 42,691 crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Short (36 not out), Maxwell (39) and Lynn (31) contributed with crucial boundaries to seal their third consecutive win of the tournament with 33 balls to spare.

England had earlier posted a modest 137-7 from their 20 overs after stand-in captain Jos Buttler was the only England player to make a substantial score, but even he needed 49 deliveries for his 46.

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"It was another poor performance from us, we didn't quite soak up the pressure early on with the bat and then we never really kicked on," said Buttler. "We never felt we had enough runs and the power of Australia proved too much. We haven't performed to our abilities yet but now we look forward to New Zealand."

The visitors were restricted by a disciplined pace bowling performance from Kane Richardson, who finished with 3-33, while Billy Stanlake claimed 2-28.

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England fast bowler David Willey had Australia's stand-in skipper David Warner caught behind with just two runs on the board, giving England a glimmer of hope in the first over but Lynn soon snatched the momentum.

He smashed two fours and a six in the next over from Tom Curran and by the time he was dismissed by Chris Jordan in the final over of the power play Australia were in control at 51-2.

Short and Maxwell took charge against England spinners Adil Rashid and Liam Dawson before Aaron Finch confirmed the victory with back-to-back sixes off Willey.

England next face New Zealand in consecutive matches in Wellington (February 13) and Hamilton (February 18) as they attempt to join Australia in the final.