England secure nine-run victory over Australia in Twenty20 warm-up match
England 172-6 Australia 163-6 (England win by nine runs)
Monday 17 September 2012
England had to outdo the class of Michael Hussey to start their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up campaign with a scrambled nine-run victory over Australia at Nondescripts CC.
Stuart Broad's defending champions appeared on track to coast to a fifth successive win this year over their oldest enemy - but that was reckoning without Hussey (71), the vital missing ingredient during England's 4-0 NatWest Series trouncing of Australia on home turf two months ago.
Hussey near single-handedly kept his team's hopes alive, and England sweating, after wrecking young spinner Danny Briggs' figures with three consecutive sixes over mid-wicket.
With the first, the left-hander brought up his 45-ball fifty, and he added another boundary too for good measure in the slow left-armer's final over.
But Broad himself returned to have Hussey lbw, and from there Australia ran out of steam to finish short of 172 for six.
Alex Hales (52) had underpinned that competitive total, after England were put in on a steamy morning and a stodgy pitch, the tall opener continuing to fare well in his role as the controversially absent Kevin Pietersen's replacement.
England were playing their first practice fixture of a tournament which will begin in earnest for them against minnows Afghanistan at the nearby Premadasa Stadium on Friday.
Their total twice looked vulnerable here, first in a second-wicket stand of 74 between Hussey and Shane Watson and then when Australia's most accomplished batsman was gathering momentum alongside Glenn Maxwell.
Steven Finn thought he had Watson with the first ball of Australia's reply, but his caught-behind hopes came to nought.
Instead, England got David Warner for a duck when he speared a catch to point off Finn.
Watson, however, stayed to hit Finn, Tim Bresnan and Broad for a six each - the England captain suffering particularly in his opening over, which contained three wides and cost 14 runs.
Graeme Swann provided the breakthrough England needed when he had Watson bowled sweeping, and Briggs had Cameron White stumped when he advanced but got nowhere near the pitch.
England looked in big trouble as Hussey suddenly raced through the gears, but their worries were soon over once Broad got the big wicket and the rest could not sustain the challenge. Hales might earlier have been run out on three, had Warner managed a direct hit from point; he also offered a tough half-chance to diving wicketkeeper Matthew Wade on 21 off Dan Christian, and escaped a feasible stumping off veteran spinner Brad Hogg on 34.
But he was responsible for England's early momentum, once he found the boundary in the fifth over - the first of three fours in four balls off Clint McKay.
Hales' opening partner Craig Kieswetter mistimed an attempted big hit to deep mid-off. But Australia contributed to England's total with a succession of early wides - one of which, from Mitchell Starc, swung past the wicketkeeper and sped to the boundary.
Hales and Luke Wright shared a second-wicket stand of 88.
Even though George Bailey tried to put the squeeze on by chopping and changing his bowlers, Wright upped the ante with two reverse-hit fours and England's first six over mid-wicket off Hogg to bring up the hundred - only to fall to the last ball of the same over when he picked out deep square leg.
Hales completed his half-century in 36 balls, but clipped Hogg to mid-wicket to go soon afterwards.
With Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow's expert hitting and placement still to come, England nonetheless had a total which turned out to be too much - despite Hussey - for the team they also beat to win their World Twenty20 title in a Barbados final two years ago.
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Winger to report for Liverpool training on Monday but Reds braced for third City bid this week
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Toby Alderweireld to Tottenham: Atletico Madrid 'accept £11m bid' as Spurs beat Southampton to defender
Alexis Sanchez 'will miss start of Arsenal season' after Chile go all the way in Copa America
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 3 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 4 Motorists taunt suicidal woman on bridge and tell her to 'get on with it'
- 5 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture