England vs Australia Only T20: Moeen and Morgan star in five-run win

Ali was named Man of the Match for scoring a career-best 72 and dismissing Maxwell

Ali was named Man of the Match for scoring a career-best 72 and dismissing Maxwell

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

England all-rounder Moeen Ali smashed an unbeaten 72 and took one wicket, while captain Eoin Morgan hammered 74 to lead their side to a nail-biting five-run win over Australia in the one-off Twenty20 International in Cardiff.

However, Australia skipper Steven Smith deserves a lot of credit for his valiant innings of 90.

Smith would have been delighted with his decision to bat first early on as Alex Hales and Jason Roy were dismissed in quick succession.

However, Ali and Morgan took over from that point as they dispatched the Australian bowling attack to all parts of the ground.

Morgan ended up making 74 off 39 balls, which included three boundaries and seven sixes, before he was caught by Shane Watson off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Morgan walloped three boundaries and seven sixes during his knock of 74

Morgan walloped three boundaries and seven sixes during his knock of 74

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Ali meanwhile went on to score a career-best 72 off 46 deliveries, which included six boundaries and three sixes, to lead England to 182/5 off their 20 overs.

Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Starc chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 183 to win, none of Australia’s batsmen, with the exception of Smith and Glenn Maxwell, had much of an impact with the bat.

Maxwell managed to score 44 off 32 balls, which included six boundaries and a six, while Smith blasted 90 off 53 deliveries, which included seven boundaries and four sixes.

Smith's career-best innings of 90 went in vain

Smith’s career-best innings of 90 went in vain

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Despite their gutsy efforts, it was just not enough for Australia to get over the finish line as they ended up falling agonisingly short of their target.

David Willey was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Ali, Steven Finn, Ben Stokes and debutant Reece Topley claimed one wicket each.

Smith was gutted to have lost by just five runs, and said: “One of those games with similar innings, early wickets and two hundred stands. They were able to hit a few more boundaries than us. Credit to Morgan and Moeen, they took the game away from us in the middle. The way to slow the rate is to take wickets, Maxi got out and we couldn’t get another partnership. I’m not as strong as some of the other guys so I have to try and find the gaps. We were in a pretty good position, the middle order just couldn’t get a boundary away.”

Morgan was thrilled to have won the one-off Twenty20 International, and said: “It was brilliant, a very good game to win. You can learn a lot against such good opposition – Ben Stokes bowling the last over, so soon after a five-Test series, was remarkable. Reece was very, very impressive. What we’ve seen in the nets, he looks really good. Ben was exceptional, we talked about getting a wicket with the first couple of balls. Getting that wicket put the onus on Australia. The attitude is when you take a wicket you have to make it count, Ben Stokes’ catch changed the game. It was hard for the new guys coming in.”

Ali was named Man of the Match, and said: “Great game, thought we bowled really well at the end. We felt we were 10-15 runs light, but at the death we were brilliant. The wicket was really good, nice to get some runs.”

Leave a Reply