England 195-5 (Hales 94) beat
Australia 168-9 (Dernbach 3-23) by 27 runs
Second Twenty20 International, Chester-le-Street
Alex Hales hit a tremendous 61-ball 94 to earn England a share of the Twenty20 series against Australia in the second match at Chester-le-Street.
All of the England top-order made decisive contributions, but it was Hales’ effort that was the main reason they reached a formidable 195 for five after being asked to bat. David Warner then struck 53 off 42 balls for Australia at the start of their run chase, but he was given precious little support and they finished up well short on 168 for nine.
Michael Lumb and Hales shared a brutal opening stand worth 111 in 68 balls after George Bailey had chosen to insert England. Lumb clubbed seven boundaries during his 27-ball 43 before giving Fawad Ahmed the first of his three wickets.
Luke Wright then came in to join Hales and played a delightful cameo of 30 off 18 balls to add a further 46 with the Nottinghamshire opener. Hales fell a couple of overs later, six short of becoming the first Englishman to hit a T20 International ton and five short of his own career-best score. He had hit 11 fours and two sixes during his innings; one that set England up for their comfortable win. Eoin Morgan hit a couple of sixes towards the end of the innings to ensure that there was no let up for the Aussie bowlers.
Australia then lost two early wickets in reply. First-match batting hero Aaron Finch made just five before being caught at mid-on off Stuart Broad. Shane Watson was then run-out courtesy of a direct hit from Eoin Morgan to make it 15 for two.
Warner kept his side in it by dominating a third-wicket partnership of 67 with Shaun Marsh (13) and brought up his 10th fifty in the format off just 38 balls. Unfortunately for Australia, he was the second to depart in a cluster of wickets that gave England an almost unassailable advantage.
Marsh was bowled by Joe Root shortly after depositing him for six over mid-wicket, with Warner then caught by Alex Hales the ball after being dropped by Steven Finn.
George Bailey came in and hit a couple of sweetly-timed strokes but again perished under the pressure of the spiralling run rate. He was leg-before to Danny Briggs, attempting a sweep, with Matthew Wade bowled playing a cross-batted slog.
Glenn Maxwell entertained briefly. He aimed to launch every ball into Newcastle city centre, succeeding on a couple of occasions in between frequent miscues, before finally finding Michael Lumb at deep square-leg.
That gave Jade Dernbach the second of his three wickets. The Surrey man enjoyed another good day and seems to have learnt the lesson of not over-doing the slower balls. He delivered several quick bouncers that hurried the Australians and finished with figures of three for 23 from his four overs. His third wicket was courtesy of a brilliant catch by Morgan, diving backwards from his position at backward point.
Nathan Coulter-Nile clubbed a couple of sixes off Steven Finn to ruin his figures, but by then the match, as a contest, was over and England had bounced back in emphatic fashion from their mauling at the hands of Aaron Finch two days ago.
© Cricket World 2013