Australia managed to regain their number one spot in the ICC T20I rankings with a five-wicket win over England in the final game of the three-match series at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Tuesday. With only the top spot to play for after losing the series already, the visitors put up an all-round show to register a win.
Chasing 146 to win, the Aussies needed 60 from last 10 overs with eight wickets in hand, only to tease a repeat of their capitulation in the series opener. They lost three wickets for 14 runs, all to the magician Adil Rashid before Mitchell Marsh restored calm with 39 not out to take Australia over the finish line.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) September 8, 2020
England did themselves no favours by dropping three catches and making numerous ground-fielding errors.
Earlier, a batting line-up missing Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan was restricted to 145-6 by some relentless Australia bowling.
Jonny Bairstow scored 55 runs from 44 balls while stand-in captain Moeen Ali (23 off 21) and Joe Denly (29 not out off 19) played cameos, but England were never fluent against an attack spearheaded by Mitchell Starc.
🥇 Australia are back on 🔝 🎆 pic.twitter.com/KRaAaeiZpX
— ICC (@ICC) September 8, 2020
Brief scores: England 145/6 in 20 overs (Jonny Bairstow 55, Joe Denly 29 not out; Adam Zampa 2-34, Mitchell Starc 1-20) lost to Australia 146/5 in 19.3 overs (Mitchell Marsh 39 not out, Aaron Finch 39; Adil Rashid 3-21) by five wickets.
Moeen Ali | England captain:
“Proud moment when I was told I was going to captain the side, but sad we didn’t win. We got a slow start, the wicket wasn’t easy, a bit unusual for us to start slow. We were poor in the field. We would have won if we fielded well, but we just got to learn from these things. Buttler has changed the way we are playing.”
Aaron Finch | Australia captain:
“We know where we messed up in the first game. We played good cricket for most parts and didn’t finish well, but today we were good. We need to improve against spin and in the middle overs. It’s nice when you are getting closer to your best, but disappointed to lose the series. We are fairly confident of our structure for the T20 format. We have had a great rivalry with England in the one-day format too. We are still well placed for the T20 World Cup.”