Australia v England, 1st T20, Hobart January 29, 2014

Finch and White extend Australia's mastery


Australia 4 for 213 (White 75, Finch 52) beat England 9 for 200 (Bopara 65*, Coulter-Nile 4-30) by 13 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

'More futile runs for Bopara'

More than 400 runs made for an entertaining start to the Twenty20 series - and a tough night for the bowlers - but Australia were more comfortable winners than the 13-run margin suggested in Hobart.

By the time Ravi Bopara went on a late six-hitting surge, England (who would dearly have loved one of those blows the other night in Adelaide) were out of contention although Australia will have been grateful that they had as many as 4 for 213 to work with.

Their total, on a pristine pitch and with one boundary of barely 50 yards towards the building site, was set up by an opening stand of 106 in less than 10 overs between Aaron Finch and Cameron White. Who needs David Warner?

For a while it looked like Finch would replicate his record-breaking hundred at the Ageas Bowl last year, when he slammed 156, so there will have been a degree of relief from England when he was cut-off for the small matter of 52 off 31 balls but considerable damage had already been done.

White top-scored on his return to the international scene with 75 off 43 balls to strengthen claims for a place in the World Twenty20 squad. He was given a life on 11, when Joe Root was late to react to a low edge at slip off Broad and went on to produce a crisp innings, including four sixes, with his driving over extra cover a particular highlight. Again, a simple fielding error hurt England badly.

England began positively through Alex Hales, who timed the ball beautifully square of the wicket and has good cause to be eyeing a top-bracket IPL deal, but when faced with a target over 200 every lean over sees the asking rate shoot up and the requirement to exploit the Powerplay comes with risks.

Moises Henriques, who is on a plane to South Africa tomorrow, put Australia on course for victory by removing Luke Wright and Hales in his first over. When Eoin Morgan gave himself too much room against Glenn Maxwell it was quickly becoming a lost cause.

It did not take long for Australia to get going after winning the toss. The first six of the innings went to White, when he swung Jade Dernbach over midwicket, but Finch's soon followed and it was timing, as well as brute force, which allowed the ball to sail over long-on. After the six-over Powerplay, Australia were 0 for 52, which did not represent a disaster for England, but the major issue for them was the lack of wickets, which just gave already free-flowing batsmen even more freedom.

Finch's fifty came from 26 balls, the same number as it took him on that heady night in Southampton. Bopara's first over cost 12 and Danny Briggs' 14 as Broad's plan to take pace off the ball had little effect. But it was not just bludgeoning, especially the way White played Briggs with deft deflections and strong sweeping.

The hundred stand came up inside 10 overs - Australia's sixth three-figure opening stand in T20s - and it ended as their third highest when Finch picked out deep midwicket. White had plenty of time to reach his own hundred, but fell in a curious two-ball period against Wright which firstly involved being caught off a waist-high no-ball - checked lengthily by the third umpire - before he was pinned lbw next delivery.

Maxwell appeared more interested in reverse rather than conventional hitting. He nailed one switch hit over deep point for six but fell trying a similar effort off Bopara in an over that cost just three to follow one from Broad that went for four.

It was, perhaps, no surprise that Briggs and Dernbach were among the most expensive bowlers - neither have played any cricket of late. At the toss, Broad said he wanted to show faith in the players who had performed well last year, but the absence of Ben Stokes, especially, was a surprise. Dernbach's first two overs had cost 25 and his last two cost the same (including another full-toss no-ball) as Australia found a late kick just as England threatened to pull them back.

Chris Lynn, who was handed his debut alongside 20-year-old legspinner James Muirhead, launched his fourth ball into the stands and added two more to ensure there was no let-up as the total crossed 200. It was the type of striking that has made his name in the Big Bash League over the last couple of years and another example of the confidence surging through Australia's young players at the moment.

Muirhead, meanwhile, was given a gentler introduction than may have been expected when he was brought onto bowl with England's top order but he had to contend with a boundary that was barely a drop-kick away. He still gave the ball a decent rip as he had done during his tour match appearances and had the joy of a first wicket when Tim Bresnan missed a slog.

Bopara dented a few figures with some meaty blows - his seven sixes meaning both sides hit 11 in their innings - and kept a full house entertained with only the fifth half-century to come from No. 7 in a Twenty20 international but it came too late for England.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Zain on January 30, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    Nice Try, But Aus is too Good for you guys, and that maybe Too certain now. Australia can win this series With extreme ease Anyways.

  • Scott on January 30, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha, Hazlewood is not one of the best bowlers going around - you are kidding, right?! I understand all bowlers cop a bit of stick in T20, but his last over was a disgrace, so too his second last over (wasn't much better).If he's so good, he'd not have kept landing half volleys and watching them disappear over the ropes.

    Why are you bringing Pattinson into it?

    We won, so I suppose I shouldn't worry so much - and it's only the T20 lottery, so I don't care that much...

  • John on January 30, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (January 29, 2014, 20:22 GMT) Surprised you bother responding to J2 these days. He is to intellectual debate what Katie Hopkins is to tact/understanding and balanced views

  • John on January 30, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    @Jas.Sohd on (January 30, 2014, 6:18 GMT) I think Kies days are gone as an Eng player. Buttler is in that position now and I dont see him being dislodged and Craig obviously doesnt bowl so it would mean him playing purely as a batsman and as an opener and I reckon Lumb and Hales are far ahead of him as openers. Also if Kies isn't hitting big then the scoring rate is stagnating as he can be very pedestrian when it comes to strike rotation

  • Harmon on January 30, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    @ScottStevo: At least he showed he had the ability. What he lacks is the right application & focus. He won't have felt like a WC after this match but some of the doubts in his own mind would have been cleared up. All he now needs to do is to see what he did right today. Perhaps he thinks a bit too far ahead at other times while this time he was thinking for each ball.

    @JG2704: If his shots were not slogs then he clearly has the ability. Eng mgt must make a plan to help players like Finn, Brothwick, Bairstow etc. Bopara could be in that list too. I would also add Dernbach to this. He is a bit like Bopara, has talent but lacks clarity.

    @one-eyed-but-keepinitreal: If we talk about luck then Ashwin won't have gotten out at the ropes. It would have been +6 instead of -W. Reg DRS, after hundreds of thousands of controversies due to DRS, you better not talk about it. Last I heard, an ORS was put alongside DRS. ORS is basically slo-mo HD replay --- just what we've been asking for centuries.

  • James on January 30, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    bobbo2, I wold dispute that. The team batting second on a road clearly has the advantage. England could have won this match comfortably if they'd gotten to ten overs with only one or two wickets down. Bopara showed just how easy it was to smash balls out of the ground when free to take risks. Of course in his case the risk-taking freedom came not from having a surplus of wickets in hand, but from the fact that the game was over and he had nothing to lose.

  • Jas on January 30, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    Bresnan - overrated, Dernbach - (can't find any more disappointing words), Root - slightly overrated not good for T20, Lumb - need to be more fearless, Morgan - should be the leader. These are the main problems, all we need to do is take first three out, work with other two and give Kieswetter a shot again bring KP back and get your best most aggressive(about cricket) bowlers from FL T20 and then we have a T20 team that can be considered a contender for a championship

  • Anver on January 30, 2014, 4:51 GMT

    Good fighting knock by Bopara in the end, but i believe he started bit late to attack.. any way an entertaining game of cricket from both side !!!!!

  • Prashan on January 30, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan, I adore England a lot. On paper they are no doubt the best and I find it hard to fathom how they failed like this in Australia. After 2006-7 Ashes whitewash, they made mends by winning the CB series finals. Winning the T20 series is the only hope now.

    With top class bowlers like Broad, Anderson, Bresnan, Stokes, Dernbach featuring in this tour, surprised by thr the lack of Impact they had on Aussie batting. Fact is Aussie batting has tremendously improved after the failures last year. No way would our average bowling attack get Aussies all out for 74 today unlike last year.

  • Richard on January 30, 2014, 2:57 GMT

    Important things to come out of the first T20i:

    1) Jade is and will always be a girl's name, eg. Jade Jagger. 2) Anything else... nope, that's it.

    Anyone who thinks Test cricket is under threat from T20, you need to give yourself an uppercut right now. Looking at the big picture one can't help thinking T20 is what the founding fathers of baseball deliberately overlooked on their way to pull shots lofted over the chucker's head with a caveman's club.

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