Who will land a telling blow in the battle to reach the World Cup semi-finals? Follow all the latest updates from the match in Dubai
England are taking on Australia today in a Super 12s showdown at the top Group 1 of the T20 World Cup. Both teams carry perfect records into this fixture, with England having bulldozed the West Indies and make pretty short work of Bangladesh too, while Australia have edged South Africa and seen off Sri Lanka. The winner of this one will take a major step towards the semi-finals.
There is of course the looming prospect of the Ashes in the background, with England set to head to Australia for the series start December as major underdogs, albeit boosted by the return to the side of Ben Stokes. Asked whether this match would have any bearing on the psychological battle Down Under, England captain Eoin Morgan was clear. “None whatsoever,” said Morgan, adding: “I think white-ball cricket has moved so far away from red-ball cricket that there’s just day and night between a psychological blow in one format in comparison to the other.” Then again, Australia fast-bowler Pat Cummins admitted: “It will be great to get one on the board against them early.”
The big boost for Australia is having David Warner back in form after smashing 65 off 42 balls against Sri Lanka, making the most of an early reprieve when dropped on 18. England’s bowling has been ruthless to this point, however, and he will be made to work harder for his runs today in Dubai. Follow all the latest updates below.
FOUR! England 49-0 (5), J Roy 20, J Buttler 24, J Hazlewood 0-18 (2)
More intelligent hare-ing brings England two more, and after sucking in some much-needed oxygen, Buttler is suitably replenished to rock back to a ball that sits in the surface and decisively thump Hazlewood over mid-on. England dominating another powerplay.
Mitchell Starc will bookend it.
England 41-0 (4.3)
Another three! It’s an outstanding yorker from Hazlewood but Buttler manages to get his wrists through it and through an inviting gap at extra cover.
England 37-0 (4), J Roy 18, J Buttler 15, Ashton Agar 0-10 (1)
England certainly aren’t scared of Agar. Will we see Adam Zampa in the powerplay, too? It’s back to Josh Hazlewood for now.
SIX! England 37-0 (3.5)
He’s not yorked himself there! Sizeable blow from Buttler, 91 metres in fact, as he again charges down and plants Agar over long-off, the fielder on the fence craning his neck like an child on November 5th.
England 30-0 (3.3)
Agar is a canny operator who changes his length very well, and he nearly fools an advancing Jos Buttler, who manages to retrieve his shovel in time to dig it out having yorked himself.
England 29-0 (3.1)
Fourth over, fourth bowler, and Aaron Finch basically had to try it after his quicks came up empty – Ashton Agar tends to slide the ball on in the powerplay. Historically Jason Roy has struggled against left-arm orthodox but his recent record is far, far stronger. A drive brings him one from Agar’s first ball, and a wide adds one more to the total.
England 27-0 (3), J Roy 16, J Buttler 8, Pat Cummins 0-14 (1)
A rather tidy yorker to close from Pat Cummins, but England are already ahead of the game.
SIX! England 24-0 (2.3)
Clever from Cummins – a slower ball bouncer as Roy sets like a baseball hitter but can’t adjust to the meat-ball. Dot ball.
That’s not a dot – that’s enormous! On a length, Roy again sashaying down and dismissing Cummins for somewhere distant cow corner-ward.
England 18-0 (2.2)
Cummins pushes his first ball down the leg-side and then allows himself to be nudged for three as he again strays to leg.
And to further exacerbate a strangely loose start, he’s over-stepped. A free hit – Jason Roy licks his lips…
England 13-0 (2), J Roy 7, J Buttler 5, Josh Hazlewood 0-7 (1)
Roy’s feet are dancing again as he steps to leg to try and open the off-side up, cutting to third man from single.
A different tactic from Buttler, but with similar intentions of disrupting Hazlewood – he’s immediately looking for a fine scoop but fails to connect with a ball that ducks just beyond his leg pole. It defeats Matthew Wade on the hop – a bye will give Buttler the strike as Pat Cummins completes this powerful pace cabal, replacing Mitchell Starc.