Australia v England, World Twenty20 warm-up, Colombo

England hold on for narrow win

David Hopps in Colombo

September 17, 2012

Comments: 81 | Text size: A | A

England 172 for 6 (Hales 52, Wright 35, Morgan 30, Starc 2-32, Hogg 2-39) beat Australia 163 for 6 (M Hussey 71, Watson 37, Finn 2-26) by nine runs

Alex Hales made 52 off 38 balls, Australia v England, World Twenty20 warm-up, Colombo, September 17, 2012
Alex Hales made 53 off 38 balls to set up England's innings © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: Alex Hales | Michael Hussey
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: Australia | England

England's recent five-match ODI series against Australia was generally condemned as so inconsequential that it is quite possible to argue that this warm-up match between the Ashes rivals ahead of World Twenty20 had considerably more significance. It fell England's way, by nine runs, an edgy win only for as long as Mike Hussey remained at the crease for Australia.

Victory gave England, the defending champions, immediate impetus and left Australia, whose T20 ranking briefly fell below Ireland's earlier this month, still searching for a solution.

England's top six did not include a single player who could be regarded as a regular in the Test side - Kevin Pietersen, who in different circumstances might have claimed that, is only in Sri Lanka for a commentary stint for ESPN Star Sports- but they skipped to 172 for 6 in their 20 overs with Alex Hales (52 off 38) and Luke Wright (35 off 29) both prominent.

Hales, the chief beneficiary of Pietersen's absence, is one of several young England players without much of a grounding on the subcontinent but his half-century took England to 110 for 3 with 34 balls left before becoming one of two victims for Brad Hogg, at 41 the oldest player in the tournament.

He might have been run out on three, had David Warner hit direct from point and also offered two half-chances to the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, an edge off Dan Christian, and a tough stumping off Brad Hogg on 34.

Shane Watson, Australia's allrounder, saw enough in Hales' performance to believe that England have a chance to mask Pietersen's absence without too much damage. "Kevin Pietersen is an amazingly talented batsman," he said. "In the last Twenty20 World Cup, he was one of the big reasons why England won it.

"But England have a number of very exciting young guys coming in. Hales hit the ball very nicely, and is obviously going to be a big player for England at the top of the order, so it won't have too much of a dent in the England side, because they'll be able to make up for it pretty well."

That Australia got so close owed much to Hussey, who almost pulled off a game-changing over when he struck Danny Briggs, the Hampshire left-arm spinner on his first senior tour, for 6-6-6-4 off successive balls after Briggs' first three overs had cost only 15. But Broad returned to have Hussey (71 off 51) lbw to leave Australia 32 short with 19 balls remaining and their challenge petered out.

Broad's intervention was something of a personal relief as his first over at Nondescripts CC in Colombo had included four wides. Shane Watson (37 off 26), Australia's other main batting success, was bowled as he swept at Graeme Swann.

Wright's success at No. 3, to follow a fine domestic season for Sussex in limited-overs cricket, continued a resurgence that began in Australia's Big Bash at the turn of the year. He is now over fears that a knee tendon injury might have put an end to his career.

"There are other guys around the counties I know have been struggling heavily with that sort of injury and who have had similar treatment to me - and it's just not worked," he said. "My game is normally based on energy, running around, buzzing around. Suddenly for the first time, I couldn't really do that and I felt like an old man - it probably threatened everything I play for. But I went off to Sweden for an operation, and luckily it's been fine since then."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 20, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

@landl47 (post on September 17 2012, 20:57 PM GMT): late reply I know, but as JG2704 more-or-less-said, Broad's lines/lengths/variations etc. in these shorter formats have been wayward this year. Did well in the last warm-up game there against Pak. despite a horribly 'sticky' pitch, so who knows. He still aint going in any of MY Fantasy teams though...

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 18, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

@KurtZWilliams on (September 18 2012, 11:51 AM GMT), there will be media attention when the competition starts but are you suggesting that the media just sit on their hands until then? Of course they're going to cover the warm-ups because that's all there is to cover right now and it's a build up to the competition itself. If you're commenting then you're reading, suggesting that there's no reason for the media not to cover the warm-up games. The fact that you commented contradicts the content of your comment so it appears to be just rhetoric and a way to see your name on the internet. Got anything intelligent to say about the cricket?

Posted by jb633 on (September 18, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

@Moppa- I like the idea of your accent tests. I admit that KP and Trott are imports but Prior and Strauss are English.

Posted by KurtZWilliams on (September 18, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

Isn't this just a warm up game jeez, lets get this media attention when the series actually gets underway.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 18, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

@Meety on (September 17 2012, 23:38 PM GMT) Maybe. I'm not sure. I never try to go overboard because T20 is very much an on the day format and the top 8 teams all have players who can fire them to glory as I posted elsewhere. This was a close game and pretty much anyone can beat anyone in this format. Also you often find in these tournaments that players most casual fans have not heard too much about before do well in these tournaments. In our last campaign Yardy and Craig did well.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 18, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

@landl47 on (September 17 2012, 20:57 PM GMT) To be honest Broad's figures and not only his figures , but his lengths and lines (in recent shorter format series) have worried me and Broad is possibly my favourite Eng player.

Posted by Moppa on (September 18, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

@Munkeymomo, you have made a fairly common error amongst non-Australian posters on this site... which is assuming that all Australians share and/or are responsible for the incoherent rantings of a certain other Australian poster. I made no mention of Strauss in my post, so this is my best guess as to your logic. Speaking for myself only, I apply the 'accent test' to determine whether someone is an import or not. Based on this rule, Pietersen, Trott, Kieswetter and Morgan are imports, and so was Kepler Wessels (if we want to go back a couple of decades). Meanwhile, I would agree that Strauss is not an import and argue that nor are Matt Prior, Khawaja, Andrew Symonds, Nasser Hussain etc. @Meety - cheers! :-)

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 18, 2012, 0:40 GMT)

@yorkshirematt on (September 17 2012, 14:20 PM GMT), I have absolutely no idea where you would get the idea that I dislike Yorkshire as I have no such dislike. I'm really curious to know why you would think that. You may well know Bairstow's keeping better than I do as I've only had glimpses of him in action but given that he's done it for Yorkshire and for the Lions, I have no reason to believe that he couldn't do it for England in T20s. The fact that he's from Yorkshire wouldn't come into calculation one way or the other. If KP does become available for selection again then it would be ludicrous not to pick him so a batsman would have to go. If Kieswetter is determined to be the weakest link at the time then, assuming that they won't lose anything by passing the gloves to Bairstow or Buttler, they can let him go. You'd have to think that he's a better gloveman than Buttler at least though, given that he gets the nod at Somerset.

Posted by Meety on (September 17, 2012, 23:38 GMT)

@Moppa on (September 17 2012, 11:52 AM GMT) - champagne! I heard the mid-wife thought Ussie had that Steve Waugh gleam in his eye & that was when he was first noticed! @JG2704 on (September 17 2012, 15:39 PM GMT) - judging by some of the comments on this page, you'd almost think the W/Cup has already been won!

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

How can Cam White still be in this team. he is a useless cricketer. David Hussey is a much better player then him. this is Selection gone mad. Dave Hussey has been our best 20/20 player in the IPL, Big Bash, for Aus, County Cricket. this is ridiculous. White and Bailey in the middle order is our big weakness.

Posted by Patchmaster on (September 17, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

The problem with Broad being captain is that they can't drop him. He always goes for 10 or so an over ! Good to see Australias new sparkling talent Maxwell score a 'game changing' 18 runs....he he......I'd like to see Woakes in for Broad, but the selectors have made a noose for their own neck by making him captain. Morgan should be captain. Broad is too much of a spoilt bratt to captain ENG.

Posted by Marcio on (September 17, 2012, 22:37 GMT)

Those saying AUS rely too much on Hussey obviously haven't paid any attention to recent games. Warner, Bailey, Maxwell and Watson have all played key roles in the recent strong batting form of Australia (notably none of those got a big score here), while Starc and Cummins have been starring with the ball (and Cummins didn't play). This was a batsman's pitch. I would have liked to have seen Cummins get a bowl, as I think conditions would have been good for him. But it was just a practice game and he'll be there for the next game.

Posted by landl47 on (September 17, 2012, 20:57 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK: point taken on the format, but I'd like to see how this very young England side gets on against some subcontinental spinners on these pitches. It's not necessarily how many runs they score, but how they shape up. With regard to Broad, how has his bowling been shocking? He had one bad outing against South Africa but was otherwise pretty good and his bowling against Pakistan and the WI was well up to standard- he and Swann shut down Pakistan quite well in the UAE. I'd sooner he wasn't captain, because I don't think at 26 (and a rather immature 26 at that) he's ready to lead the side, but his bowling has been OK.

Posted by Juiceoftheapple on (September 17, 2012, 20:15 GMT)

JG In answer to your other question, of course not. Re Kies, well he does have those, 'please get going' moments, but, I just think he's improving so much. I really rate him now, after being frustrated by him a bit in the past. T20 world cup winner with highest score remember. Match winner in ee.

Posted by MattyP1979 on (September 17, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

Read some Aussie coments so here is something to balance it out. Aus are worse than bog average at the moment. Their reliance on two 38 year old not only reflects the depth in Aus but also the future state of things near to come. Revolving door of players and thrusting the youth in too quickly means they have learnt nothing from the bad old days of Eng. With SA up next and Eng away soon after they will find themselves plumeting down the rankings.

Posted by MattyP1979 on (September 17, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

Well another defeat for Aus, this is becoming a bit of a habit. Still its hit and hope and a warm up at that so lets not go crazy. Aus reliance on Hussy/Clarke must be of a concern. In tests add Punter, and what you have is a bog average team with 2 of the 3 good players set for the old peoples home. Bad times for Aus....worse to come.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (September 17, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

JG2704 on (September 17 2012, 15:40 PM GMT) I have done a bit of research and Shakib is potentially the best player Bangladesh have ever produced, blimey he must be good. I too am unsure of the relevance to this England V Aus practice game but he has been mentioned more than once so there must be some connection :/

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (September 17, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

Really dissapointed to see the new 'god of T20 cricket' Buttler only make 5 runs. Dobell will be devastated, but what can we expect from these fantasy/comic book scribes.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (September 17, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

@Moppa: Right, but it's different when someone moves to England as a child and then gets picked later in life isn't it? Khawaja is an Aussie through and through having moved there at 3 years old, but Strauss, having moved to England aged 6 and being born to English parents, well, he's a biltong chewing Saffer no? Double standards.

Posted by shillingsworth on (September 17, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

@Jose Puliampatta - The reason Stirling is not playing for England is that he has always stated that he wants to represent Ireland. In addition to being inaccurate, your prediction appears rather odd.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 17, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

Tests and T20's... chalk and cheese David. So what if England didn't have any test players in their top 6. Ideally, it should be NO test players risking their bodies in this hit-and-giggle format. @landl47: is there EVER an accurate gauge for T20? Form seems to depend on what side of the bed a player gets up. On saying that, Broad's bowling has been shocking in this format of late; = very poor "form" and he should keep the bench warm for most games.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 17, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

@himohan007 on (September 17 2012, 08:58 AM GMT) Whois Shakib and what relevance does he have to England or Australia?

Posted by JG2704 on (September 17, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (September 17 2012, 09:48 AM GMT) Not sure I agree with that. India - he was man of the series vs India (just over 12 months ago) and I'd even go as far to say that was a peak Broad. Also he bowled well in UAE . Since the injury he suffered in SL he's probably lost something although we've seen glimpses of form. I wonder if he's be in the side if he wasn't captain

Posted by JG2704 on (September 17, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

@jmcilhinney on (September 17 2012, 10:16 AM GMT) I think Wright is like Bopara as in a batsman who can be used as a bowler. As I said before , I wonder about Broad and how he might be trying too hard to pull back his figures (overly feeling responsible as a captain) rather than try Wright etc. Re Craig , yes I agree but I think they are more likely to drop Hales (if and when KP does come back in) than Craig as Craig seems to be part of the furniture in the shorter formats , even if right now we think either of the 2 JB's might be a better bet as WK.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 17, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

@Jim Riches Wheeler on (September 17 2012, 10:52 AM GMT) Swann has bowled extremely well in the shorter formats recently. I think he is harder to get away than he looks

Posted by JG2704 on (September 17, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

@Juiceoftheapple on (September 17 2012, 11:49 AM GMT) I actually like Craig and appreciate that he played a decent inns in the T20 semi final but I think it was also made to look better due to how poorly our other batsmen batten and how well Dimitri and others bowled. He also looked good in the CLT20 where Jos looked poor. I go along with JMC that in the rain aborted T20 vs SA he struggled and I still think Hales might be better to rotate the strike and keep the scoreboard flowing. Just my honest opinion.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 17, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

@Paul Rone-Clarke on (September 17 2012, 12:49 PM GMT) It depends on the score. In a game which aggregates 335 runs , I'd say 9 runs is fairly narrow

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

I am still surprised to see that Stirling is still playing for Ireland, and not England. (I predicted it more than a year ago. It is obvious that I am no 'Paul the octopus'!)

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

Hail Hales! Very happy for him & his performance. Another young English boy coming up, when they are given a chance !

Posted by dabhand on (September 17, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

Interesting warm up game but what new it told each team must be minimal.

And for those who still don't get it - no point in knocking individuals on either team for not achieving - the failure of any one individual should not be the cause of the failure of the whole team - if anyone believes someone shouldn't be playing contact that team's management and see how highly they value your input - flapping your gums on here won't change diddly.

Posted by subbass on (September 17, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

Another routine win v the old enemy. Any chance of you guys actually giving us a gamer some time soon ?

Ashes 3-1 Mauling.- FACT Recent ODI's 4-0 hammering, only not 5-0 due to rain - FACT.

You look at OZ and can help but think " Jeez the talent is thin. " (copyright our old chum Randy oz.)

plz publish !

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

those boundaries were so small..........Cmon.......Anyways India should trust their batting and go with another specialist bowler after todays game with Pak. I mean its a T20, India only lost 3 wickets and posted 185!!! yet the still lost becuase of their bowling! take out Raina or Rohit and bring in Chawla...(bhajji was shocking today) If India have a chance against England they must post a total of 200+ to be really safe. Besides that, Afghan should really lose both games and Eng + India progress to super eights, even if India come 2nd they may actually come in a better group. An upset is on the cards?

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 17, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

@jmchillinney Given your apparent dislike of Yorkshire why would you want to through JB the gloves? I don't rate his keeping anyway.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 17, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

Always nice to beat the "Old Enemy". but remember this was a practice match, and doesn't even go into the record books. If Hussey had stayed in it could well have been different. Anyway, I've a feeling both these teams will be out before they have the chance to meet in anything competitive, so roll on the Ashes!

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

I am upset the other Hussey has beeen dropped. In the only 2 T20s he played against Pakistan, he came in down the order in tough situations and went out swinging 4th and 2nd balls respectively for the team, whereas in both situations he came, Bailey at the other end was taken 10 to 15 balls getting in (putting pressure on other batsmen). in fact since Bailey has been in the side David Hussey has not batted at 4, which is his T20 position. Your best T20 players should be in the top 4.

Posted by landl47 on (September 17, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

It's a warm-up game, let's not get too excited or down-hearted about it. England batted pretty well, but Aus's spin attack is not exactly legendary. Pakistan on Wednesday will be a more accurate gauge. England won the game in overs 11-14 of the Aus innings when Swann and Briggs bowled well. Briggs was hit about in his last over, but Huss has done that to a lot of bowlers. Broad's last two overs were much better than his first two- just jitters, I reckon. Aus has to be getting worried that they are depending too much on Huss and Watson; Huss is 37 and Watson is 31 and breaks down regularly, but no-one else seems to be stepping up. Still, in this format a couple of players in form can carry the side. I liked the balance of the England side, I think that's the best 5 bowlers in the squad (with Wright available if necessary) and they bat down to #9. A good practice game, but don't forget, it didn't count.

Posted by 777aditya on (September 17, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

Australia have their work cut out - it is not going to be easy at all against West Indies or even Ireland. Similarly, Group D would aptly stand for group of death - out of Pakistan, New Zealand, and Bangladesh, the kiwis might not even make it to the super 8s. Just check out the Bangladeshi team - super talented bunch. In Group A, India or England can take Afghanistan lightly at their own peril. The Afghanis have nothing to lose and can go all out in attack (good fielding, decent batting/bowling). I would certainly rate Afghanistan higher than Ireland and Zimbabwe. Group C seems to be the easiest - which bodes well actually as the stadiums will be full if SL get into super 8s. The semis could well be an all Asian affair!

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

I fail to see the relevance of David Hopps's comment that the team contains no regular members of the test top six. England is building a young t20 team and few of the test batsmen are thought to excel in this format. (Bell in current form would have been a good shout, though). It looks like another chance to mention that KP is missing, as if we could ever be allowed to forget.

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

9 runs in T20 is not really a narrow win. The average winning margin in T20 internationals involving only full test playing sides is 9.4 runs for a side defending and 7.3 balls for a side batting second. 9 is pretty much an "average" winning margin

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

I fail to see the relevance of David Hopps's comment that the top 6 contains no regular test players. England is building a young team of t20 players and most of the England test top 6 are not considered to excel in this format. (Bell on current form might have been a good shout, though). Looks like another excuse to remind us that KP is missing, as if anyone could be allowed to forget.

Posted by Damo_s on (September 17, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

Hate to say it but I would have to agree with RandyOz's comments elsewhere on this forum wrt Broad though. He just doesnt look like a bowler of international class unless conditions really suit him. He appears to be a bit down on pace and accuracy. I think he will be a liability for England during this tournament.

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

Ithink watson was out on first ball too even us spectators heard the noise that's why they came this far when watson leaves they were favourites but struggle after for spinners from 9 to 15 game was gone in that stage but for hussy's slog sweeps 666

Posted by kieranbob on (September 17, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

@jmcilhinney - Totally agree about the Keiswetter issue, I don't think we will see him feature in this tournament. He lets the bowling attack have too many dot balls and is a poor player of spin. Would like to see Bairstow replace him in the future.

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

Series will be won by a subcontient team. We know that all ready. Just like 50 over WC in 3 years will not. Seam Vs Spin isn't going to go away any time soon. Conditions to suit is vital for teams these days.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 17, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

After reading the English press after Buttler's 'good over' against SA I was expecting a quick 150 from him today, so disappointed to see he only made 5. Still, at least Broad was back to his usual form.

Posted by SDHM on (September 17, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

@JMC - it's something Kieswetter is working on I'm sure. When you hit the ball as cleanly as he does you probably haven't had to bother taking too many singles in your career! Give him time.

England didn't face too much spin, but it's interesting to note they took Hogg for the best part of 10 an over. Encouraging signs for a side with a weakness against spin. Think this batting line-up, if it clicks, is capable of something special. Being young and inexperienced though, expect some ups and downs!

Posted by Moppa on (September 17, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

@thebarmyarmy, we have a very organised system for importing players here in Australia. Got Usman Khawaja when he was three, back in 1990! He was a clear stand-out in the Islamabad Under-4s. Around that time the logic was that Boonie was getting a bit long in the tooth, Justin Langer has missed out in a few innings in his high school team and Ricky Ponting had just cut himself shaving for the first time, so we needed to shore up some good future number 3s...

Posted by Jaffa79 on (September 17, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

Nice to see a 'grade level' player like Swann doing well as well as young talent like Hales and Briggs whilst the Aussies rely on old men like Hussey and Hogg. What a joke! I suppose this doesn't count eh boys? Like the 4-0 thrashing in the summer and the last Ashes too. This average skilled Aussie team is the worst in recent memory. Are Jonesy and Randy on holiday at the moment?

Posted by Juiceoftheapple on (September 17, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

JG I do note your point about Kies, but we are just going off stats here, and he could have banged a couple of peaches at the fielders, and faced the Aus best bowlers at the start (Whoever they are), we dont want players just throwing their wickets. Without his innings against SA we would (probably) have lost, and in the T20 semi Somerset's score would have been embarrassing, he's a great batsman, and got a great defence as well, kind of Compton mixed with Buttler imo. I think all the excitement about Buttler is not that he is better or more exciting than the other England top 5, just that he deserves to be there with them. The fact Morgan never got a game in the IPL still makes me laugh everytime I think about it. Any win over Australia should not be downplayed, it always matters, to them and us. GREAT WIN. Briggs in for the whole tournament, Hussey is Hussey after all.

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 17, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

Apart from one good series with ball against a hapless India, does Broad have anything over last couple of years? Broad showing that sereis as a primary one will be equated to Ravinder Jadeja showing his success over England in the followed ODI series in home. Not sure how he was elevated to the top job in t20 format!

Posted by WonkyFNQ on (September 17, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

@thebarmyarmy: If you are talking about Khawaja, he came to Australia when he was about 5 years old. Unlike Pietersen, Trott, Morgan and Kieswetter, he can hardly be called an import.

Posted by thebarmyarmy on (September 17, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

Worrying times for Australian cricket. Maybe its time to bring back in their Pakistani import?

Posted by   on (September 17, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

why is Australia still too scared to attack Swann. i would have Maxwell as a float so when Swann is on to bowl he can have a go at him, someone who is not scared to comedown the track to him....if anything, swann won the game for them with tight overs, and also Finn, White need to fire up, this is getting ridiculous now.

Posted by Bramblefly on (September 17, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

@Brumby90-Shouldn't your commennt read "A weak Australian team which has fallen below the standards of reigning world champions and current world no.1 England...?" Or how about "A weak Australian team which has fallen to the low standard of the big bash?"

Posted by Hammond on (September 17, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

@Brumby90- good one mate, the terribly low standard of world cup holders and official ICC number one. Would love to know what you consider to be "high standard"..

Posted by bouncedout on (September 17, 2012, 10:44 GMT)


There you go talking about history again. The pest record of Aus oin one day matches and tests isn't going to help them in a T20 tournament or indeed in any other one.

Your team hjas no chance of improvement if all you can do is bang on about how good they once were.

Easy for England in the end. always nice to win as it keeps the confidence up. Aus may want to try it sometime

Nothing from Randy or Jonesy....surprise surprise

Posted by Brumby90 on (September 17, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

A weak Australian team which has fallen to the low standard of England. Neither of these teams have a chance of winning the series.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 17, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

@JG2704 on (September 17 2012, 08:54 AM GMT), have to agree re Kieswetter's dot balls. He faced 10 in his 15 ball stay while Hales and Wright faced 6 and 5 respectively in their first 15 balls. England didn't hit nearly as many 6s as Australia but many more 4s, but the thing I like most was the way all the batsmen kept rotating the strike... other than Kieswetter. I just wonder whether he might be the man to miss out if KP rejoins the team. KP was opening before he retired and it would be hard to drop Hales at the moment. If Bairstow is also doing well then they may throw him the gloves and give Kieswetter an early shower.

Posted by Badgerofdoom on (September 17, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

I do wonder if our best T20 bowling attack for the conditions actually contains Broad, for me its Finn, Swann, Briggs, Bresnan and Dernbach with Patel coming in if we need more spin/strengthen the batting. On the subject of the captain not earning his place is Bailey really one of Australia's best batsmen? Really?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 17, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

Not good to see Broad bowling all those wides in the one over but he still couldn't keep up with Australia in that regard. I thought that they were playing this game as a tribute to Mitchell Johnson for a while. That will need to change if Australia want to do well. From England's point of view, they only faced 5 overs of spin today, so that is probably not representative of what they'll see throughout the tournament. The next game against India will likely see them face more spin so that will be interesting to "watch".

Posted by Potatis on (September 17, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

@himohan007 I actually have no idea why Bailey is captain, or even in the Oz side. I've never understood it. I just hope Australia can either perform well enough with him as a passenger, or Bailey himself can prove me wrong.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 17, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

No heroics from Buttler today but the tournament is yet young. Good to see significant contributions from Hales, Wright, Morgan and Bairstow; all guys who will need to pick up a share of the slack left by KP's absence. Good job by the England spinners and that will obviously have to keep up if they are to do well. Hopefully that one over where Hussey went to town on Briggs won't dent the young man's confidence too much because he'd bowled well before that. As a left-armer, he'd probably rather be bowling to a right-hander when they're in that mood. Broad was the main concern with the ball and I'm not sure why he didn't give Wright an over or 2. What's the point in a 6th bowler if you don't bowl them when one of your main 5 is going for runs? Still, he did get Hussey and that was important. I'd be interested to know what speeds he was bowling as the last game or two against SA he seemed to have regained a bit of nip.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (September 17, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

Its only against australia so i wont get too excited. There will be much bigger & tougher teams at the T20WC like New Zealand & Ireland.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 17, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

It was only a warm-up game but it's always nice to see England beat Australia. Might have been a bit of a waste for what appears to have been quite an exciting game right up until the last couple of overs to have been just practice. Not sure whether Australia had a specific plan sending Christian in ahead of Wade or they weren't too concerned about the win and wanted to ensure Christian got some time in the middle. How good is Mike Hussey? He's like 50 years old now and just seems to get better. I'm sure that Australia hope he plays on for several years yet because he seems to be their most reliable batsman in all formats. It's great to see someone who really looks the part in Test whites but then belts the ball to all parts in the shorter formats. Truly a complete batsman. Broad didn't have a great day with the ball but Hussey's wicket was key to England getting the win.

Posted by colombo_SL on (September 17, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

Well played England. Congratulation!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (September 17, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

JG, Broad's form has had a serious dip in all formats over the last 12-18 months and his place in the Test side must be in doubt. He had a big year in 2010 but seems to have gone backwards from there. Personally, I would not necessarily have him in my starting XI in India. T20 is always a bit hit and miss for bowlers, which is why accuracy is crucial. In that respect Finn (with his rare T20 maiden), Bresnan and Swann were critical today because they were bowling accurately. Broad seems to be losing the knack of landing 6 consecutive balls on a sixpence and he needs to get it back... and fast! The one piece of goo news for him is that when Hussey was swinging desperately Broad did manage to bowl a good straight ball that trapped him: it's just a pity that he couldn't have done it earlier in his spell.

Posted by seniorgators on (September 17, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

recycle-bin-is-empty Not sure that the recycle bin is the only thing empty! T20 record is 3 each and one non result. These warm up games are not official ICC games as teams can play outside standard rules in terms of number of players. As for every format, Oz has a vastly superior record in Test and One Day matches to England. Indeed they have a positive record in these two formats against EVERY other nation they have played against. No other team gets close. Sorry recycle bin - you opened the door. Lets wait and see what happens when the official games start and the experimentation stops.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (September 17, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

Ah, England have beaten Australia again. Nothing new there then....

Posted by brusselslion on (September 17, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

The England management really needs to get a grip. What is to be gained by playing warm-up matches against minnows like Australia?

Posted by AUSinCH on (September 17, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

@ recycle-bin-is-empty: the head-to-head stats between Aus and Eng in T20Is are: played 7, won 3, lost 3, no result 1. Let's see who's smiling at the end of the World Twenty20, shall we? ;)

Posted by JG2704 on (September 17, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

Re Australia - well they still have proven matchwinners in Hussey,Watson and Warner with the bat and I reckon Starc and Mckay could be key. Looking at the figures for this game , after Maxwell bowled one over for 3 runs , I'm really surprised he didn't get more overs. I'm personally a great believer (in this format) in sticking with whoever is doing a great job on the day above using guys with reputations who aren't necessarily having a good day

Posted by himohan007 on (September 17, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

And finally hope Guys dont suspect Shakib wants to play at top so that he gets better opp in KKR team because KKR has slot left in that position rather in bowling ahead of Baz,Lee, Kalis,Narine LOL

Posted by himohan007 on (September 17, 2012, 8:57 GMT)

Brilliant performance Shakib.Love the way you bat at top in T20. It is a wonderful gesture to take up the responsibility n delivering it. It has been a revelation for you.Also want BD to be better in tournament

Posted by Hammond on (September 17, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

Don't expect too much commentary about Hales- he is born in Middlesex.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 17, 2012, 8:54 GMT)

Have seen none of this game so can only go by the scorecard. From Eng's point of view my biggest concerns are re batting , Craig's struggle to keep pushing the singles until he gets set for the big shots - I have said this before and tried to post the same to a fellow Somerset fan which will hopefully get published this time. Re bowling - Broad's form is very worrying and - as put before - I also worry about him doing the sensible thing and giving maybe an over or so to Wright rather than try to pull back his figures when he is going for runs. Positives are that over the last 6 months or so all our batsmen have played knocks of note so they all know they can do it. Swann could be the key factor in how we progress , he seems to be bowling beautifully and I hope Briggs continues too. Is Tredwell in the squad?

Posted by SDHM on (September 17, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

@recycle-bin-is-empty - the last mini T20 series down in Australia was drawn 1-1.

Good to see Hales perform, although the Aussie attack plays into England's hands somewhat. If England's batting can find a way of firing in these conditions, they'll be tough for anyone to beat.

Posted by himohan007 on (September 17, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

Seriously is this a match to determine which team prepare better for tournament. Or which captain is preparing better to reduce the upcoming embarrassment. Both Broad n Bailey are awful T20 players to included in their team let alone the captaining. IMHO Mcgrath can bat better than Bailey and Cook can bowl better than Broad. Look at their SR n ER respectively. I would prefer ever reliable Huss n T20 specialist Morgan for captain to their team.

Posted by Selassie-I on (September 17, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

Thanks Australia for helping Luke Wright back into form! Hope he has a good tournament. Such an open tournament, good to see our non-subcontinent-experienced batsmen gettign a few too. No idea what Aus are going to do when Mike Huss retires he seems to be holding them together at the moment.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (September 17, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

Hmm. A slightly misleading headline. The margin was massaged by a six off the last ball and an over by Danny Briggs that went for 24 where Hussey went for death or glory and even then didn't get the RRR much below 2 per ball before inevitably paying the price. Apart from that, Swann, Finn and Bresnan (and even Briggs) just strangled the life out of the chase.

Posted by recycle-bin-is-empty on (September 17, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

Has Aus won a single T-20 game ever against England ??? They have developed a pretty bad habit of losing against them in every format :P

Posted by Hammond on (September 17, 2012, 8:15 GMT)

Lucky for Australia it's just a practice..

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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