Malan, Curran star as England down Australia to clinch series victory

Source: AFP

CANBERRA: England bowlers held their nerves calm as they defended 179 in 20 overs to power their side to another eight-run victory over the hosts Australia and clinched the three-match T20I series 2-0 with one game to spare.

Set to chase 179 in the second T20I, Australia fell eight runs short of glory as they could finish at 170/6 in their quota of 20 overs.

The hosts were off to a dismal start as they lost two wickets for a paltry 21 in the fifth over with captain Aaron Finch (13) and his opening partner David Warner (4) falling cheaply.

All-rounder Mitch Marsh then attempted to anchor the run chase with hard-hitting batter Glenn Maxwell as the two added an important 29 runs for the third before the latter perished in the eighth over scoring a snail-paced eight off 11 deliveries.

Marcus Stoinis then joined Marsh in the middle and put on a valiant 40-run stand for the fourth wicket before England’s pacer Sam Curran halted his brief cameo in the 12th over. He scored 22 off 13, laced with two boundaries and a six.

England’s dynamic all-rounder Ben Stokes then struck gold for his side as he removed Australia’s lone-warrior Marsh in the 15th over to hand his side a much-needed breakthrough.

Marsh top-scored with 45 off 29 with the help of three boundaries and two sixes.

Following the slump, Tim David kept Australia’s hopes alive in the run chase till the 18th over as he smashed a quickfire 40 off 23 before Curran castled him to give England an upper hand.

Matthew Wade (10) and Pat Cummins (18) remained not out but failed to get their side over the line as Australia fell eight runs short in the end.

Curran led the bowling attack for England with 3/25, while Stokes, Reece Topley and David Willey made one scalp each.

Batting first, England managed to accumulate a commendable 178/7 in their allotted 20 overs, thanks to a magnificent half-century from Dawid Malan.

The left-handed batter top-scored for the touring side with 82 off 49, laced with seven boundaries and four sixes. He partnered strongly with another notable run-getter Moeen Ali for the fifth wicket.

The duo added 92 runs in just 52 deliveries and bolstered England to a defendable total.

Moeen scored 44 off 27 balls including four boundaries and two sixes, while the rest of the England batters failed to contribute significantly with the bat.

Marcus Stoinis returned with match-winning figures of 3/34, while Adam Zampa claimed two. Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc had a wicket each to their names.

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