Buttler guides England to series win

Second Twenty20, Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Australia 157-7 (20 overs): Finch 40 (33), Stoinis 35 (26); Jordan 2-40, Wood 1-25, Rashid 1-25
England 158-4 (18.5 overs): Buttler 77 (54), Malan 42 (32)
England win by six wickets

Jos Buttler guided England to a six-wicket victory over Australia in the second Twenty20 international to clinch the three-match series.

Buttler batted throughout for his 77 from 54 balls as the hosts reached their target of 158 with seven balls left.

After the loss of Jonny Bairstow, hit wicket in the third over, Buttler batted patiently in a stand of 87 with Dawid Malan.

Malan fell for 42, and Tom Banton and Eoin Morgan followed in a collapse of 3-29 but the assured Buttler held firm.

With 18 needed from the final two overs, Moeen Ali hit 10 from two balls before Buttler sealed the victory with a huge six.

A brilliant start with the ball by England had earlier seen Australia fall to 3-2 and 30-3, before the tourists scrapped to their total.

After snatching victory in Friday’s series opener, England now lead 2-0 with only the final match on Tuesday to come.

Brilliant Buttler ensures no repeat

In the first game of the series Australia were cruising to victory before a late collapse saw England win.

Here, when Malan holed out on the slog sweep at the end of an impressive knock, Banton top-edged to deep square leg and Morgan hit to extra cover, a similar twist was possible.

However, Buttler provided what Australia lacked – a calm head to see the game home.

He was not his attacking usual self for much of the innings. Although the right-hander found boundaries effectively with trademark reverse sweeps, England only took 44 from the first six overs of their chase.

Instead, he batted maturely with Malan and found the boundary when needed. One back-foot drive through the covers after the loss of Banton relieved pressure.

Buttler’s presence as a set batsman allowed Moeen to attack the penultimate over and he hit Adam Zampa for six over extra cover before adding a four in the same region from the next ball.

Australia captain Aaron Finch’s gamble to bowl his leg-spinner Zampa proved decisive. Buttler emphatically launched him down the ground and into the stands to end the game.

More to follow.


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