Australia completed a clean sweep of victories over England in all formats when it won the second Twenty20 cricket international by 8 wickets on Friday to clinch the three-match series 2-0. After winning the Ashes Test series 5-0 and the five-match one-day international series 4-1, Australia added to England's summer of misery by following up its 13-run win in the first T20 with a comprehensive win which clinched the T20 series in two games.
Captain George Bailey made 60 not out from 28 balls and Cameron White 57 in an unbroken 78-run partnership which guided Australia past England's paltry 130-9 with 5.1 overs remaining. (Scorecard)
White was 41 not out, having set the hectic tempo of the Australian innings, when he was joined by Bailey at 53-2. He was then outdone by his captain who completed a half century from 24 balls, with five fours and three sixes, while White took his score from 41 to 53. "Another great performance with the ball, I thought, that really set the game up," Bailey said. "I thought it was a pretty all-round good performance with us tonight."
Bailey said Australia's performances in all formats are being fueled by rising confidence. "It's a magical juice (confidence)," he said. "I think it makes such a big difference. (Also read: Andy Flower sacked as England coach)
"The greaTest thing about that is we're seeing it from guys who are coming in for their first game. James Muirhead, I thought bowled absolutely beautifully in his second game. That to me is a sign of a really good player and hopefully a really good team environment."
England's defeat was made more bitter by the fact it won a toss which seemed influential and chose to bat first on a dry, firm pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Regular wicket falls ensured their innings never gained momentum and Jos Buttler's 22 from 27 balls was the highest individual score in a feeble collective effort.
Michael Lumb, Joe Root, Tim Bresnan and captain Stuart Broad, who was the not out batsman, all made 18 and Alex Hales 16 but no England batsman was able to take the decisive or dominating role the innings demanded. "We're disappointed with the way we played," Broad said. "Sometimes you have to give credit to your opposition. Australia outplayed us fantastically today.
"The two needless run-outs hurt us in the middle which cost us getting a decent score."
Broad wore the haunted expression seen often on the face of captain Alastair Cook during the Test and one-day series. "It's been a long tour, a long 100 days in Australia," Broad said.
Josh Hazlewood bowled superbly for Australia and, after removing openers Lumb and Hales, he returned to dismiss Bresnan and James Tredwell with successive balls in the last over to finish with 4-30. He was man of the match. Muirhead's 1-17 and Mitchell Starc's 1-19 in his first T20 for Australia in more than a year were also outstanding four-over efforts which further shackled England.
The run outs of Root (18 from 14 balls) and danger man Eion Morgan (6 from 3 balls) crippled England, leaving it 4-55, then 5-63.
The long boundaries at the MCG were always going to be more challenging than those at Hobart's Bellerive Oval, where the first T20 was played and where the teams jointly hit 22 sixes. There were no sixes in England's innings and only 15 fours.
In fact, England's innings contained 57 balls from which no run was scored and more than 40 more that yielded only singles. Australia's turn at bat provided a vivid contrast as White gave it a blazing start which put the outcome of the match beyond doubt within a handful of overs.
He took 13 runs from the first over, bowled by Broad, and 12 from the second, scoring 24 runs before his opening partner, Aaron Finch, faced a ball. Bailey then stepped up the tempo, hitting the first six of the match in the ninth over and adding two more along with seven fours while White hit nine boundaries.