Southampton: Jos Buttler unbeaten 77 and Dawid Malan 42 guided England to six wicket win against Australia in the second T20I here at The Rose Bowl to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead in the three-match series on Sunday.
Opting to bat first, Australia posted 157/7 thanks to contributions from Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and a late boost from Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins lower down the order.
England had got off to a dream start with the ball thanks to the pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood removing David Warner and Alex Carey ? who was promoted to No 3 ? in the opening two overs. They picked up a third before the end of the Powerplay, with captain Eoin Morgan producing a stunning bit of fielding to run out Steve Smith.
After a 49-run partnership with Stoinis, Finch was next to fall ? dragging on off the bowling of Chris Jordan ? before Adil Rashid had Stoinis caught at slip to put England back on top. Agar combined first with Maxwell and then Cummins, to lift the innings beyond 150.
England also lost an early wicket, with Jonny Bairstow becoming the first player to be dismissed hit wicket for England in T20Is as he flicked the stumps with the toe of his bat as he swung through after an attempted pull shot.
Buttler and Dawid Malan ensured Australia made no further inroads however and the pair combined for a 87-run stand in 10.3 overs before Malan holed out to deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Agar just short of his half century.
Agar then picked up the wicket of Tom Banton, also caught in the deep, and Morgan fell to Zampa in the following over as the game began to take a similar shape to the first T20I with the roles reversed, especially as Agar conceded just five runs from his final over to leave 19 required from 12 balls ? the same equation which Australia had faced at the end of the first match of the series.
But Moeen Ali took control of the situation, hitting Adam Zampa over long-off for six and then over extra cover for four, before handing the strike back to Buttler with six runs left to get. The England opener hit a massive six straight down the ground to finish the game with seven balls to spare.The third T20I takes place on Tuesday at the same venue.(UNI)