While David Warner and Marcus Stoinis were together, Australia was on track, and a contentious finish was almost avoided.
England defeated Australia 200 for 9 (Warner 73, Marsh 36, Wood 3-34) by eight runs with 208 for 6 (Hales 84, Buttler 68, Ellis 3-20).
With a nail-biting eight-run victory in the first game of the series in Perth, England ramped up their T20 World Cup preparations. Alex Hales made a statement with a fast 84, and quicks Mark Wood and Sam Curran stopped Australia’s daring pursuit.
Hales and the returning Jos Buttler squashed a frail attack in a record-breaking 132-run opening stand for England against Australia, propelling the visitors to an enormous total.
After the severe Covid-19 regulations were loosened in preparation for the women’s T20 World Cup in February 2020, Perth saw the return of international cricket. Beginning on Wednesday, Canberra will host the series’ final two games.
Buttler and Hales, who had been selected ahead of Phil Salt, had a wonderful opportunity to defeat a weaker Australia attack on a fast Optus Stadium field.
With a furious assault in the first over against Cameron Green, whose debut international game on his home field had a dismal start, Buttler showed that he had recovered from a bothersome calf ailment.
Buttler was at his spectacular best when in full attack mode, launching a barrage of damaging smashes all around the wicket, including two sensational scoops in the fifth over against a frustrated Kane Richardson.
Then, Hales grabbed control in a manner reminiscent of his BBL dominance, virtually certainly securing his place in England’s T20 World Cup lineup.
Australia may have been on the defensive since they rested their frontline assault for the series’ lone game in Perth.
Captain Aaron Finch had planned to benefit from the cloudy weather and scattered patches of grass, but his inexperienced attack was mostly repudiated. Green had a lot of trouble with half volleys in particular, and his self-assurance plummeted when he bowled a beamer in the 13th over.
Australia was on the verge of losing when a late comeback helped slightly lessen the harm. Earlier in the innings, an accurate Ellis managed to stay largely unharmed before bowling a stunning 19th over to dismiss Curran and Moeen Ali.
It highlighted Ellis’ unfortunate exclusion from Australia’s T20 World Cup selection even more, given that he consistently delivered when needed.
Although Green, who is not a member of Australia’s World Cup roster, was controversially selected to replace Finch as opener, he remained at the top. When Green was dismissed for 1 by Reece Topley in the second over, the gamble backfired and Green’s miserable outing continued.
Finch came in at position No. 4, but his time there was brief because Curran’s excellent fielding allowed him to be run out on 12.
In the 15th over, Wood’s fast bowling, which reached a top speed of 154 kph/96 mph, turned the tide of the game by getting rid of Stoinis and Tim David, who went scoreless in his debut international in his hometown.
In the 17th over, there was drama when Matthew Wade seemed to have prevented Wood from attempting to make a return catch after top-edging into his helmet. Wade then threatened to emerge as the hero at the conclusion after England decided not to appeal.
Wade began the last over with a boundary to move Australia closer to the required 16 runs, but two balls later holed out as Curran calmly bowled in the crucial situation to give England the win.