June 18, 2018

All-round Australia sweep into tri-series final

10 February 2018, 06:47 | Joan Schultz

All-round Australia sweep into tri-series final

All-round Australia sweep into tri-series final

David Warner's white ball woes continued, but that wasn't enough to stop Australia from booking their spot in the Twenty20 tri-series final with a seven-wicket victory over England at the MCG.

"It was another poor performance for us", stand-in captain Jos Buttler said.

Sending England in to bat first, Australia prevented their opponents from getting off to a rollicking start by picking up regular wickets at crucial junctures.

Australia made one change with Travis Head making way for opener Aaron Finch, who was ruled out for the first two games of the series with a hamstring injury. Australia's T20 fortunes have taken a decided turn for the better; Warner and company will hope they stay that way after the flight to New Zealand.

The game-defining sequence came when Maxwell and Short accelerated the score from 65 for two at the end of the ninth over to 104 for two after the 11th, 39 runs flowing over just two overs.

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England's struggles were exemplified through Buttler's innings with his strike-rate of around 93 being only the second time he has gone at less than run-a-ball in T20 cricket after facing more than 25 deliveries.

A month after his sublime 180 at the MCG, Jason Roy was unable to reproduce the fireworks and fell to Stanlake in the third over. Warner's swift side-arm flick punctuated a rejuvenated Australia's stranglehold over England.

Morgan was a late omission after straining his right groin during training on Friday. Playing his first worldwide match since the Ashes, Vince characteristically lived dangerously and could have been run out on several occasions as England appeared paralysed by their change of fortune since a decisive One-Day global (ODI) triumph. England would be on the ropes when the series enters its New Zealand leg on Tuesday if they falter in this match. An inspired Australia under Warner's vivacious leadership bowled superbly complemented by outstanding fielding, as a stifled England was bogged down in the middle overs with the run rate plummeting to under six an over.

James Vince was skittled by a slower ball from Andrew Tye before Buttler (46) and Sam Billings (29) steadied the ship.

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