Australia v England, 3rd T20, Sydney February 2, 2014

Australia demolish England one last time


Ehantharajah: Dernbach's over turned the game on its head'

Australia 6 for 195 (Bailey 49*, Broad 3-30) beat England 111 (Morgan 34, Muirhead 2-13) by 84 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

There was talk that England had chartered a plane to fly them out of Sydney immediately after this match. Who could blame them? Beaten, bullied and broken by the Australians in the Tests and ODIs, England finished their tour with another heavy loss, this time by 84 runs, in the final T20. It meant another clean sweep for Australia. It meant across all formats, Australia had crushed England 12-1 this summer. The 1 was an ODI in which Australia rested several key players.

That England were bowled out for 111 - English cricket's unlucky number - seemed somehow appropriate. Anything that could go wrong for England on this trip has, although that has as much been due to Australia's outstanding cricket as English misfortune. In this final game, the difference between the sides was evident from the way Australia finished their innings, when the captain George Bailey plundered 26 runs off the last over from Jade Dernbach.

It pushed the target into seriously difficult territory, although with the exception of Eoin Morgan, England's batsmen looked incapable of chasing down 150, let alone 196. Michael Lumb had been dropped, which meant a new opening combination of Luke Wright and Alex Hales but neither man reached double figures. Wright pulled a catch to deep square leg off Mitchell Starc for 8 and Hales was also caught in the deep off Nathan Coulter-Nile for 6.

England's 2 for 19 became 3 for 25 when Ben Stokes, in for his first match of the series, was caught for 5 off a leading edge from the offspin of Glenn Maxwell. Joe Root did not have the time he required to get himself in, and consequently ate up 21 balls scratching along to 11 before he holed out to deep midwicket to give Maxwell his second wicket and Cutting his second catch.

By then, the required run rate had inflated so much that the result was inevitable. Morgan struck a couple of sixes but was caught in the deep for 34 off 20, and the final overs were notable not for anything England did but for the young legspinner James Muirhead continuing to impress the Australian selectors, picking up two wickets by drawing Tim Bresnan out of his crease for a stumping and bowling Stuart Broad with a big legbreak.

All England could do was avoid their biggest ever T20 loss. The 90-run defeat against India in Colombo in 2012 remains their worst, but this occupies equal second on their all-time list. It was Bailey who really sunk them with his unbeaten 49 off 20 deliveries towards the end of Australia's innings.

Dernbach finished with 0 for 49 from his four overs when his last was wrecked by Bailey. All six balls seemed in the slot for Bailey, who struck three fours and two sixes, including a long and high one over long-on, before the last ball produced a slash to third man for two, and England couldn't even finish with a run-out as Jos Buttler missed trying to flick the bails off.

Bailey had good support from Matthew Wade, who finished on 19 from 10 balls, in a 56-run partnership that came after Broad threatened to peg the Australians back with two wickets in the 16th over. Broad, who finished with 3 for 30, had the veteran Brad Hodge caught at deep fine leg hooking for 7 and two balls later bowled Daniel Christian for a duck to leave Australia at 6 for 139 with four overs to go.

Again Australia's opening partnership of Cameron White and Aaron Finch set a strong platform with a 48-run stand - they started the series with a 106-run partnership in Hobart and followed it with 48 in Melbourne - and Finch was the more threatening of the two, crunching Stokes for a pair of sixes in his first over. But, on 30 from 21 balls, Finch mistimed a pull and lobbed a catch up to midwicket off Bresnan.

Maxwell cleared the boundary twice, including a searing flat six over long-off, before he was caught at long-on from the bowling of Broad for 14. Australia promoted Cutting as a pinch hitter and the ploy worked reasonably well as Cutting showed his power with three sixes in his 29 off 16 balls before he was sharply caught by Root off his own bowling.

White struggled for fluency but steered the innings nicely with 41 off 37 balls before he was given out caught down leg side off the debutant Chris Jordan, a decision that White seemed unhappy with but which brought Hodge to the crease for his long-awaited first international innings in nearly six years. Hodge managed a one, a two and an inside-edged four before picking out fine leg with his hook.

Miked up by Channel Nine in the field later, Hodge said he was just happy to be part of what had been such a remarkable summer for the Australians. England's players are just as happy that it is now all over.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lalith on February 5, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    It is worst thing to watch Eng batting.

  • John on February 4, 2014, 21:26 GMT

    @ CodandChips on (February 4, 2014, 15:09 GMT) You're right - You did have Stokes in your latest T20 side. If it was your 11 being picked Ali would definitely be ahead of Stokes in my batting order Re KP (too late I know) but I agree with you. Could England not have risked him playing T20s/ODIs and rested him from some of the tests.

  • Paulo on February 4, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    @JG2704 I thought Stokes was in my line-up. I can understand having doubts about him as he does appear a bits-and-pieces player, but don't forget so was Flintoff. I do think Stokes' performances have been inflated by the abysmal ones of those around him, but in terms of T20, he is a bowling option who is confident to bowl at the death and can score quickly when batting.

    On KP I agree with what you're saying.Personally I'd keep him just for white ball cricket, wit ha WT20 and WC approaching. In terms of the test side I would rather see the likes of Taylor, Ali, Ballance, Stokes, Woakes get chances, as I think we need to rebuild in time for the next ashes. I have always felt that KP's best format is tests, but his best purpose imo would be helping the limited overs teams. If he were to become a batting coach/mentor in the future, I certainly would not be dissappointed at all.

  • John on February 4, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    @CodandChips - Re Ali - I'm not sure why I put that. I think I meant to put Stokes who isn't in your line up anyway. Ali could be a good shout.

    Re KP - He has played one T20 for England since Feb 2012. It's a shame but I'm not sure we'll see him in Eng colours (as in red) again. In the past I think England have considered all test series as more important than any T20/OD (even world cups). I think this is a fair part of why they are planning this meeting ie to decide if

    A - He could play both the T20WC and the test series'?

    B - Is it a worthwhile risk playing him in the T20WC if it jeopardises his involvement in a test series?

    C - Might they be discussing whether KP is more of an asset to the T20 side and therefore considering sacrificing a few tests/series for the T20 WC?

  • Paulo on February 3, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    @naren1983 nothing personal, but your suggestion of making Bopara captain is perhaps the worst I have seen on these pages. Granted he is a senior player with plenty of his experience. But so much for being "talented"- he averages 30 in approx 100 matches. As far as "calm" is concerned, he almost never finishes off chases for England.

    @JG2704 wondering why you don't think KP "will play much/any T20 again for England"?. On Ali, perhaps some of us (including myself) are getting carried away with him, but if his bowling has improved, he'd be a useful spin option who could score runs if needed- like Mike Yardy. Hopefully between him, KP and Briggs, we'd be able to get some overs of spin.

  • Mohan on February 3, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    While Captains may claim to go on from what they see in the field, It is sometimes difficult to believe that - that is truly the case for Captains like Broad or Dhoni. All indications seem to suggest that personal prejudices seem to play a much larger role than cold and logical decision making. While one off cases can be attributed to instinct - it is no longer Instinct if one persists with it all the time. Else how would one explain that Broad turns to Dernbach all the time again and again - even when he keeps getting hammered match after match. Then again Bopara who bowled a few tight overs in the midst of all that hammering, keeps getting relegated and does not even get a single over in this match. Shades of Dhoni and Ishant in there

  • richard on February 3, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    Captain Cook's crew of 1770 would have done a better job that this lot.

  • Dummy4 on February 3, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    Wow what a clobbering! I was struck by the difference in the bowling between the two sides. The English stuff was straight up-and-down dross. The Aussies hardly bowled a straight ball. When you are trying to launch it big-time its a whole lot easier to find the sweet spot when the ball does nt change in flight. But if you cant swing or spin the thing at least bowl a fair percentage of yorkers and wide-full deliveries. The English guys could nt even do that.

  • Mohan on February 3, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    Bhavesh, your swipe with regards to their captaincy, at Sachin and Rahul is unwelcome. While I cannot say much to negate it for Sachin, Rahul Dravid remains the only Indian Captain to win Test series (not one but 2) outside of Indian subcontinent in the last 3-4 decades. One cannot question his captaincy or his acumen for it, based on other issues that plagued his period of captaincy. Had Greg Chappell's overwhelming personality not been instituted by the BCCI, we would probably have seen a longer term of Dravid's Captaincy and filled with greater success. If you wish to draw parallels, then do so between the approach by Flower and Chappell. This one can discern by reading another article in here that analyses Flower's approach

  • Altaf on February 3, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    Don't remember Dernbach have conceded less than 40 in T20. Hats-off selectors.