Hazlewood takes 4 for 30 as England sinks to eight-wicket defeat in second T20I
Australia’s dominance over England continued, with Cameron White and George Bailey smashing half-centuries in a comprehensive eight-wicket win in the second Twenty20 International, ensuring an unassailable 2-0 lead for Australia on Friday (January 31).
Josh Hazlewood’s career-best 4 for 30 coupled with some stunning fielding helped Australia restrict England to 130-9 in 20 overs before the batsmen chased down the target in just 14.5 overs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with Bailey unbeaten on 60 off 28 balls and White contributing a 45-ball 58.
Having chosen to bat, England’s innings was off to a frenetic start with Michael Lumb going on the attack. He hit two boundaries in the first over off Brad Hodge, who was making a return to international cricket after nearly six years, and two more in the following over off Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Bailey then brought Hazlewood into the attack in the fourth over to cut short Lumb’s knock of 18, as he hit the bowler straight up in the air to be caught by Coulter-Nile at mid-on.
England then lost four batsmen in the next six overs as Australia grabbed the advantage. Hodge, 39, showed age was no barrier to agility, collecting a low, diving catch inches off the ground in the mid-off region to send back Luke Wright for nought in the fifth over. Seven balls later, Hodge scored a direct hit at the non-striker’s end to catch Eoin Morgan short of his crease. With Joe Root also run out, England slipped to 66 for 5 in nine overs.
Ravi Bopara and Jos Buttler then rebuilt the innings, focusing on patient ones and twos instead of big hits, to add 24 runs in 23 balls. When Bopara's attempt to slog James Muirhead was met by Glenn Maxwell at deep midwicket, Australia had firm control of the game with England 87 for 6 in 12.2 overs.
However, Stuart Broad continued to defy Australia, adding 34 in 28 balls with Tim Bresnan for the eight wicket. Hazlewood took two wickets in the final over but Broad remained unbeaten on 18 to take England to a competitive, if below-par total.
To make a match of it, England's bowlers needed to strike early, but Aaron Finch and White raced away to a quick start. The openers had put on 48 runs when Finch fell to Bresnan off the first ball of the sixth over, and though Maxwell too fell cheaply, dismissed by James Tredwell in the following over, the association of Bailey and White prevented a collapse akin to England’s.
Bailey enthralled the crowd with the first six of Australia’s innings in the ninth over, smashed comfortably over long-on. When Australia needed 49 from 54 balls, he suddenly switched gears, taking 18 runs off a Dernbach over, including a six and two fours in the long-on region.
White took 38 balls to complete his second fifty in as many games before Bailey reached his second T20I half-century off just 24 balls in the penultimate over of the match. With two boundaries in the 15th over, Bailey put England out of its misery and took Australia to a win with 31 balls to spare.
The win also ensured Australia and England changed spots in the T20I rankings, with Australia climbing to sixth and England slipping to eighth.
The final T20I will be played in Sydney on Sunday.