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Australia thrashes England in first T20

By Chris Pike
29 January 2014 11:00PM EST

AUSTRALIA has carried on its dominance over England to the Twenty20 format easily winning the first of three clashes by 13 runs at Hobart's Blundstone Arena on Wednesday night.

Having already won the Ashes Test series five games to nil and then the one-day series four games to one, and then the Twenty20 internationals began in a similar way on Tuesday night with only some incredible late-hitting from Ravi Bopara reducing England's margin of defeat.

Stuart Broad took over from Alastair Cook as England captain for the Twenty20 clashes, but the results didn’t change with Australia dominating from the outset thanks to 106-run opening stand between Cameron White and Aaron Finch.

White ended up making 75 from 43 balls and Finch 52 from 31 to help Australia end up making a massive 4-213 from 20 overs with Chris Lynn's unbeaten 37 from 19 balls late giving the Queenslander a dream debut.

England was then never in the run chase finishing on 9-200 from 20 overs to fall 13 runs short with Bopara top-scoring on 65 and Nathan Coulter-Nile taking 4-30 from four overs.

Australian captain George Bailey won the toss and had no hesitation in deciding to bat first on his home deck and Victorian opening pair White and Finch immediately took full advantage.

It was a solid first over from England captain Broad going for just four runs before Twenty20 specialist Jade Dernbach took up the attack.

His over went for nine runs when White smashed him for a huge six into the construction zone and the ball was lost forever.

Broad's first ball to Finch off the third over then also went for six, but England should have had its first wicket four balls later had it not been for Joe Root dropping an absolute sitter off White at slip.

However, England was doing a reasonable job keeping White and Finch in check after a decent over from Tim Bresnan saw Australia 0-32 after four overs, but Dernbach then bowled his second and things quickly changed.

Finch lined him up and took him for consecutive fours and then a six to get 16 off the over and Australia's innings was up and going.

Bopara's first over went for 12 when Finch hit him for four and White took him for six over deep square leg before three boundaries then came off Danny Briggs' first ever with spin introduced for the first time.

Finch and White continued to enjoy the flat Bellerive deck with White taking Bopara for another six, and then Briggs for two boundaries in the 10th over with Australia 0-104 at the halfway mark.

England then picked up the first wicket in the 11th over when Broad brought himself back on and had Finch caught at long-on by Alex Hales for a terrific 52 from 31 balls with his knock including five fours and three sixes ending an opening partnership of 106 from just 64 deliveries.

White continued on, though, and smashed Luke Wright for 14 runs in the first three balls of the 13th over before he was caught off a full-toss.

It appeared closer to knee-high than waist-high but the umpires still decided it was too high and called it a no-ball.

It didn’t hurt England, though, with White officially out just two balls later LBW to Wright for 75 from 43 balls with six fours and four sixes.

Glenn Maxwell was at the wicket, though, and immediately made his mark racing to 20 from 13 balls with two fours and a six before miscuing a reverse sweep and falling to the bowling of Bopara with Australia 3-157 in the 16th over.

Captain Bailey never really got going making just 14 from 14 balls, but Queensland's Chris Lynn was making the most of his first appearance for Australia and ensured Australia finished well over 200.

Lynn smashed three sixes and two fours in his 19-ball innings that saw him score 37 and remain not out along with Dan Christian (six from two balls) as Australia finished the 20 overs on 4-213.

Broad was the pick of England's bowlers with 1-25 from four overs while Bresnan was quite good with 0-40. Bopara finished with 1-26 but Dernbach (1-50) and Briggs (0-53) especially copped some stick.

Maxwell then opened up England's innings with his off-spinners with England taking 10 off that opening over before Coulter-Nile took the ball for Australia and despite 12 runs from his over, he picked up the crucial wicket of Michael Lumb for nine.

Alex Hales then got going for England but big-hitting all-rounder couldn’t carry over his form from the Big Bash League with the Melbourne Stars to the international arena also falling for nine when he chopped on a ball from Moises Henriques.

Hales was the man looking dangerous, though, but he then fell for 22 from 12 balls when also given out LBW to Henriques.

England was then in desperate trouble at 3-45 after five overs and then the dangerous Eoin Morgan was out for four when bowled by the off-spin of Maxwell.

That left England 4-51 when Joe Root and Joe Buttler came together, and Buttler had played some exciting knocks in the BBL and he needed to do so again.

He looked threatening as well with a big six and impressive boundary but in the end made just 20 from 14 balls when caught by debutant James Muirhead off Coulter-Nile.

Root was starting to strike the ball nicely, though, and made 32 from 24 balls before he was also out to Coulter-Nile.

That left England 6-100 in the 12th over with the match all but over despite some impressive late hitting from Bopara.

Bopara hit an incredible seven sixes late in the innings, including three in the final over from Josh Hazlewood, as he finished not out on 65 from 27 balls with England finishing on 9-200 from 20 overs.

Coulter-Nile was the star with the ball for Australia with 4-30 while Henriques took 2-36, Muirhead 1-34 on debut and Maxwell 1-30.

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