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ENG vs AUS: Late fightback helps England get narrow win over Australia in 1st T20I

Chasing 163, Australia at one stage needed just 39 runs from the last six overs with nine wickets in hand to take a 1-0 lead.

SNS | New Delhi |

A late fightback from the England bowlers helped their team register a narrow win of two runs over Australia in the first Twenty-20 International (T20I) at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Friday.

Chasing 163, Australia were cruising towards a comfortable victory and were just 39 runs short when the last six overs’ play remained. However, the visitors ended up on 160/6 at the end of their 20 overs to go 0-1 down in the three-match series.

Batting first, England were restricted to 162/7, despite Jos Buttler’s fiery knock of 44 off 29 balls and Dawid Maoan’s well-composed 66.

Glenn Maxwell and Kane Richardson were the stars with the all as their figures of 2/14 and 2/13 respectively played pivotal roles in restricting the English threat.

Left-arm spinner Aston Agar, who was taken for 16 by Buttler in his first over, also bounced back and returned with figures of 2/32 in his four overs.

Apart from Buttler and Malan, only Chris Jordan got to double figures, courtesy his late cameo of 14 runs off 8 balls.

Australia had a great start to their chase and looked on track to register a comprehensive victory, thanks to Aaron Finch and David Warner’s early dominance, with the pair adding 98 runs in 11 overs before the Australia captain lost his wicket after scoring 46 runs.

Steve Smith, who came in next, looked fluent as he scored 18 from 11 balls, but Adil Rashid had him caught sweeping and he then dismissed Maxwell four balls later as England fought back.

Warner (58) and Alex Carey also went back to the pavilion in quick succession as Australia lost four wickets for nine runs, with the visitors still needing 30 from 21 balls.

Australia needed 15 from the final over but Tom Curran kept his cool and didn’t allow Marcus Stoinis to take his team across the line.

The two teams will now lock horns in the second T20I at the same venue on Sunday.

Brief scores: England 162/7 (Dawid Malan 66, Jos Buttler 44; Glenn Maxwell 2/14) beat Australia 160/6 (David Warner 58, Aaron Finch 46; Adil Rashid 2/29) by two runs.

With IANS inputs