ENG vs AUS, T20 World Cup: Buttler, bowlers complete England's Aussie thrashing

England vs Australia, T20 World Cup 2021: Jos Buttler's unbeaten 71 annihilated Australia in its first Super 12 loss in Dubai on Saturday.

Jos Buttler's blistering knock powered England to a breezy win over Australia in Dubai.   -  REUTERS

Jos Buttler produced a brutal exhibition of power-hitting during his unbeaten 32-ball 71 as England thumped Australia by eight wickets in a Group 1 Super 12 encounter in Dubai on Saturday. With this win, Eoin Morgan's men have reaffirmed their status as tournament favourite and put one foot in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup semifinals.

Buttler and Jason Roy began the 126-run chase with trademark panache and aggression. They didn't let the Australian quicks settle into any rhythm. Buttler was severe on Mitchell Starc, mauling him for two consecutive sixes as England plundered 66 in the PowerPlay.

Adam Zampa got Roy out lbw at the start of the seventh over but that didn't deter Buttler, who continued his onslaught to reach 50 with a monstrous six, off just 25 balls. England lost Dawid Malan along the way but Buttler and Jonny Bairstow's six-hitting spree saw the Three Lions home with 50 balls to spare.

HIGHLIGHTS

Earlier, fielding first, Morgan rang all the right bowling changes. Aaron Finch's struggle against leg-spin in 2021 — he has been out seven times for an average of less than nine — meant England opened with Adil Rashid. After three dots, Finch drove Rashid for four. Chris Woakes shared the new ball and struck immediately to get David Warner caught behind.

Next over, Woakes took a one-handed blinder to dismiss Steve Smith. The right-hander mistimed a pull off Chris Jordan towards mid-on, where Woakes hung on to an acrobatic catch. Woakes embellished his spell in his second over, getting Glenn Maxwell out lbw. Maxwell reviewed but in vain.

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On a pitch with some grass on it, Morgan used one over of spin inside the first six as Woakes bowled his three on the trot for figures of 3-0-7-2. At three down for 21 after the PowerPlay, Rashid replaced Jordan and got a wicket with his first ball, trapping Marcus Stoinis in front with a googly. Meanwhile, Finch watched on as batters at the other end sank in quicksand. Australia clawed to 41/4 after 10 overs.

With wickets upfront, Morgan held back Moeen Ali as Liam Livingstone replaced Woakes. Wade tried to show intent with a couple of boundaries but holed out to Roy at long-on off Livingstone (1 for 15).

Finch infused some life into the innings with two back-to-back boundaries off Tymal Mills. He had help from Ashton Agar, who struck two successive sixes off Woakes, whose final over went for 20. But Mills ended Agar's stay. Finch fell for 44 to Jordan soon after and Cummins fell to the same bowler. Jordan finished with 3 for 17. Starc hit a four and a six as Australia took 13 off the 20th and limped to a below-par total. Buttler and England then got there at a canter.

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