|First Twenty20, Ageas Bowl, Southampton|
|England 162-7 (20 overs): Malan 66 (43) Buttler 44 (29); K Richardson 2-13, Maxwell 2-14|
|Australia 160-6 (20 overs): Warner 58 (47), Finch 46 (32)|
|England win by two runs|
England pulled off a remarkable fightback to beat Australia by two runs in a thrilling first Twenty20 international at the Ageas Bowl.
Chasing 163, Australia were cruising to victory – needing just 39 from 38 balls with nine wickets remaining.
But the wicket of Steve Smith, one of two wickets to fall in Adil Rashid’s final over, sparked a collapse of 4-9 in 14 deliveries.
Ashton Agar was run out from the final ball of the penultimate over leaving the tourists needing 15 from the final six balls.
Marcus Stoinis hit a six from the second delivery of Tom Curran’s over but still needed five from the final ball. Curran perfectly executed a yorker to see England take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
England had earlier been grateful for 66 from Dawid Malan and 44 from Jos Buttler in their own underwhelming batting performance.
The second match is on Sunday – live on BBC One from 13:50 BST.
England capitalise as Australia implode
England’s bowling improved significantly from the beginning of the Australia innings but they were only able to take victory thanks to an implosion by the tourists.
Opener David Warner and Aaron Finch plundered the bowling to begin with. putting on 98 as Mark Wood and Jofra Archer bowled too short – the batsmen repeatedly hitting fours square off the back foot.
Even when Finch hit Archer to long-off for 46, Smith looked comfortable. He pulled his first ball – a 94mph delivery from Wood – for four.
What followed was remarkable. Smith top-edged a sweep off Rashid when on 18 and Maxwell hit the final ball of the leg spinner’s spell to extra cover – a tactical error which proved crucial.
Warner departed for 56 two balls later – bowled off his pads by Archer – and in the following over Alex Carey was also bowled by a fast delivery from Wood.
The wickets fell and runs dried up. There was not a boundary hit after a Smith six in the 14th over until Stoinis’ big hit over extra cover with five balls left.
Stoinis had attempted to play himself in, backing himself to hit the required runs from the final over. He cleared the ropes once but also missed two other deliveries trying to power the ball away. Curran held his nerve where the Australia all-rounder did not.
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