Australia v England – story of the match
England collapsed with the bat after a rapid start.
Centurion Glenn Maxwell cashed in on a controversial reprieve with a match-winning century as England started their Trans-Tasman T20 Series with a five-wicket defeat to Australia in Hobart.
Maxwell, having already been dropped by Alex Hales on 40, had another life on 59 when third umpire Chris Brown decided a stooping catch by Jason Roy was not taken cleanly – overturning the ‘soft’ on-field decision despite inconclusive replays.
He finished the game with a towering six to reach 103 not out in just 58 balls, though England’s downfall was caused at least as much by a dismal batting collapse which saw them go from 96 for three after 10 overs to an under-powered 155 for nine.
Stat of the day
England hit 64 runs in fours and sixes in the first 10 overs of the innings and just 20 in the second 10. Their inability to find the gaps or find a specialist batsman prepared to see it through the back end, coupled with Australia’s clever death bowling, left the tourists well short of early projections.
Tweet of the match
Great win Australia. Well played @Gmaxi_32 top drawer!— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) February 7, 2018
KP’s volte face
"Careless! Ridiculous! What are we seeing?! I just don't understand this?! What is that?!"— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) February 7, 2018
Kevin Pietersen couldn't believe David Willey just gave away his wicket.
Michael Vaughan echoes his sentiment... pic.twitter.com/CsE9XG2vh2
As a crowd-pleasing batsman in his England days, Kevin Pietersen was fond of responding to criticism about his devil-may-care batting style with the refrain “it’s just the way I play”.
Now winding down his playing days and a regular in the Channel 9 commentary box Down Under, he took the next generation to task for their flamboyant strokes. He expressed shock when Sam Billings attempted a ramp shot early in his innings then blasted David Willey’s “silly, careless” dismissal. It’s just the way they play, Kevin.
Jordan’s big finale
Chris Jordan was setting himself up for a fall when he sent for a new bat on the final ball of the England innings. You could almost hear the cries of “get on with it” from the stands. But the number eight was more than vindicated in his attention to detail when he clobbered Andrew Tye’s last delivery into the stands for six. Sometimes you just need the right tools for the job.
There had been just two previous T20 internationals at the Bellerive Oval, with Australia winning both having decided to bat first. They opted for a different method this time, fearful perhaps of England’s preference for chasing, and managed to keep up their 100 per cent record at the home of Hobart Hurricanes.
February 10: Australia v England, Trans-Tasman T20 Series, Melbourne.