England vs Australia 2nd T20: Heroic Hales helps England triumph over Australia

Image courtesy of: The Mirror

Hales hammered 94 off 61 deliveries

Alex Hales was England’s hero in the second Twenty20 International at Durham as he went on a rampage against Australia to guide his side to a 27-run win and end the series as a 1-1 draw.

Australia captain George Bailey won the toss and elected to bowl first as it looked to be a tough wicket to bat on.

However, Bailey would have been pondering over whether he made the wrong decision or simply misread the pitch, as England’s opening pair of Michael Lumb and Hales registered a 111-run partnership, during which Hales brought up his half-century, at a scorching run rate of 9.79.

The partnership was brought to an end when Australian spinner Fawad Ahmed picked up the wicket of Lumb, who scored 43 off 27 balls, which included six boundaries and a six.

Despite wickets starting to fall at regular intervals, Hales powered through and kept up the scoring rate as Australia just had no answer on how to stop him.

Hales was eventually dismissed in the 19th over as he was caught out off the bowling of James Faulkner for 94 off 61 deliveries, which included 11 boundaries and two maximums.

Hales’ brilliant innings helped England register 195 at the end of their 20 overs.

Ahmed was the most successful Australian bowler with three wickets, while Faulkner picked up two wickets.

After scoring 248 in the first Twenty20 International, Australia were going to be relying on opener Aaron Finch to play another cracking knock, but it was not to be as the big-hitter was on his way back to the pavilion after he was caught out off the bowling of England skipper Stuart Broad for only five runs.

All-rounder Shane Watson followed soon after as he was run out by Eoin Morgan for just seven runs, leaving Australia in a heap of trouble at 15/2.

A 67-run partnership at a blistering run rate of 9.13 between David Warner and Shaun Marsh soon changed the complexion of the game before Marsh was clean bowled by Joe Root for 13.

Warner continued to pile on the runs and passed his half-century before hitting a ball from Jade Dernbach straight to Hales, who made no mistake.

Warner scored 53 off 42 balls, which included five boundaries and three sixes.

After Warner was back in the pavilion, Australia crumbled under the pressure and despite some late entertainment from Bailey, who scored 23, and Glenn Maxwell, who smashed 27, the baggy greens fell short of their target by 27 runs.

Dernbach was the pick of England’s bowlers with three wickets, while spinner Danny Briggs claimed two victims and Broad, Root and Steven Finn all chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Bailey was disappointed to have let the series slip out of his hands, but praised him team for giving it their all.

“We lost a couple of early wickets which put England on top,” he said. “We had some good patches with the ball, I thought Fawad did really well. His pace was really good today. It was tough with that wind.”

Broad was ecstatic to have ended the series as a draw and paid tribute to Hales and Dernbach for their special performances.

“After losing the toss the guys adapted to conditions really well,” he said. “To get 60 off the first six was a great effort. Today we didn’t even need the powers of Buttler. You can’t ask much more of Jade than the last two games. We wanted to take the wicket-taking options whenever we could. Both batting performances have been exceptional. We still need to nail our skills a bit better with the ball, but the wickets have been fantastic.”

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