If England are looking for positive omens ahead of next year's Ashes they may just have found one after they secured the Hong Kong Sixes title with a final-ball victory against Australia. The scores finished level after Australia could only manage a single off the last delivery and England claimed the trophy having lost fewer wickets.
England, led by Dimitri Mascarenhas who claimed the Player-of-the-Tournament award, were consistent throughout the two-day event and powered to 121 for 1, their highest total of the weekend, in the final. However, Australia responded in style and reached 89 without loss to give themselves a great chance of snatching their first Sixes title.
Crucially, though, they lost three quick wickets and needed two off the final ball. Stephen O'Keefe hit Tim Bresnan's delivery towards mid-on and though he picked up a single he was then run out, meaning England secured the trophy.
"We like leaving it late but that was outstanding," Bresnan said. "I don't think any of us have ever been involved in a final like that, played in front of such a fantastic crowd and with a tie at the end."
Ashley Giles, the England team manager, added: "It was a great game of cricket. I thought we got a good score, maybe could have got a bit more, but Australia played really well to fight back. To win one like that was great. It showed great character from the lads."
Hong Kong A
Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes