In a hard-fought encounter at Optus Stadium, England held their nerve to oust Australia by eight points in a run-fest game on Sunday. David Warner scored 73 from 44 and netted fifty more against the English side but failed to get his side across the line as Mark Wood took three wickets while giving away just 34 runs in his four overs.

Chasing a target of 209 runs, Australia’s round started off on a low note as Cameron Green was fired in the second half of the game to make his day on the pitch more frustrating. Mitchell Marsh has entered the enclosure to link up with David Warner, with Steve Smith making way for the versatile player in the playing XI.

Warner and Marsh added 71 points from just 44 balls to give Australia a shot at an overall chance. The duo established a great platform for the remaining hitters to swing their bats to chase down the target. Adil Rashid came on the 9th to dismiss Marsh as he cleared the right-handed hitter who was looking to tackle the bowler. Aaron Finch came in at number four but couldn’t make a significant contribution and was run out for 12 points.

David Warner took on the role of aggressor and kept the scoreboard going, keeping Australia in the game. He found a capable partner in Marcus Stoinis who cleared the ropes three times during his brief 15-ball stint. The batter scored 35 on just 15 balls before being fired by Mark Wood. Much-talked-about versatile player Tim David was unable to open his account as he was fired by Wood, who was in the midst of a fiery bowling spell making life difficult for Aussie batsmen.

David Warner continued to see batters return to the clubhouse looking for a partner to take on the England bowlers, but soon perished in an attempt to keep Austraila in the hunt. Perhaps the turning point of the game, Wood got the better of the opener and fired it for a well-done 73 on 44 balls. Matthew Wade, the designated finisher for Team Australia, showed promise but was sacked by Sam Curran for 21 runs, nearly ending Team Australia’s hopes at the Perth Stadium.

Danielle Sam and Nathan Ellis were quickly dismissed by Reece Topley and Curran to secure the visitors victory. Earlier, the hosts won the coin toss and invited England to beat first without knowing what awaited them.

Buttler and Hales, who had been selected ahead of Phil Salt, had a wonderful opportunity to overcome a depleted Australian attack on fast-paced Optus Stadium. With a furious onslaught in the opener against Cameron Green, whose first international game on his home turf got off to a dismal start, Buttler showed he had recovered from a troublesome calf ailment.

Buttler was at his best in full attack mode, unleashing a barrage of power shots all around the wicket, including two sensational scoops in the fifth against a frustrated Kane Richardson. Hales, on the other hand, got off to a slow start before finding his touch as the two combined for 58 points during the power play. After that, there was no respite as Buttler pitched legpinner Mitchell Swepson for a straight six. Before Buttler was finally beaten by Nathan Ellis in the 12th, they had reached a century in just nine overs.

Then Hales took control in a way reminiscent of his BBL dominance, almost securing his place in England’s T20 World Cup roster. Alex Hales smashed 84 of 51 while Butler scored 68 of 32 balls also sharing an opening position of 132 runs from just 11 overs.

Nathan Ellis was the only bowler who was not grounded as he managed to take three wickets for just 20 runs from his four overs. Short score: England 208/6 (Alex Hales 84, Jos Butler 68; Nathan Ellis 3/20) v Australia 200/9 (David Warner 73, Mitchell Marsh 35; Mark Wood 3/34) (ANI)

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