Dawid Malan and Sam Curran played outstandingly as England edged world champions, Australia by 8 runs yesterday at Canberra, Australia to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match Twenty/20 International Series.
Malan scored 82 from 49 balls to lead the recovery after England were reduced to 54-4 off 8.1 overs.
He was ably supported by Moeen Ali (44) as they put on 92 for the fifth wicket to help England reach 178-7 from their 20 overs.
Curran was then the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-25, including the wicket of Tim David for 40 in a critical 18th over that tipped the game in England’s favour.
Curran also held onto a smart catch to dismiss Mitchell Marsh, who was looking well set on 45 from 29 balls, as England’s superior fielding proved the difference, with Australia only able to reach 170-6 off 20 overs.
What made the win more impressive was the fact that it was close to a full-strength Australia team, with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood restored to the bowling attack, and dangerous all-rounder, Glenn Maxwell back in the middle order.
It was far from the complete performance, though. Ben Stokes once again struggled with the bat while Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid were expensive with the ball.
But the ability of some players to step up when others struggle is an invaluable commodity to have with the ICC Twenty/20 Cricket World Cup approaching.
The final game of the three-match series will take place on Friday, again in Canberra. England then play Pakistan in a warm-up match on Monday, before opening their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan in Perth on 22nd October.