T20 World Cup: England crush Australia by 8 wickets, inch closer to semifinals

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Jos Buttler hammered a brutal 32-ball 71 not out to complement a superlative performance from the bowlers as England crushed Australia by eight wickets in their Super 12 match to inch closer to a semifinal spot at the T20 World Cup on Saturday.

It was a thoroughly professional display by the ODI world champions as they bundled out Australia for 125 and then returned to overhaul the target of 126 in 11.4 overs to consolidate their top position in the Group 1 points table.

Buttler and Jason Roy (22) hammered the Australian bowlers all around the park to amass 66 runs for no loss in the powerplay, the highest by any team so far in the tournament.
Buttler was the most dangerous of the England batters as he slammed five fours and as many sixes during his unbeaten knock, which is the fastest fifty in the tournament till now.

Australia managed to get rid of Roy and Dawid Malan (8) but it made no difference as Jonny Bairstow joined Buttler in sending their opponents on a leather hunt.

Bairstow smashed two sixes off Adam Zampa during his unbeaten 11-ball 16 run innings as England reached 126 for 2 to win the match with 50 balls to spare.

England thus completed a hat-trick of wins, while Australia suffered their first loss of the tournament after beating South Africa and Sri Lanka in their previous two games.

Earlier, Chris Woakes (2/23) and Chris Jordan (3/17) rattled Australia’s top-order by removing opener David Warner (1), Steve Smith (1) and Glenn Maxwell (6) in the first four overs before skipper Aaron Finch (44 off 49 balls) resurrected the innings.

Ashton Agar (20), Pat Cummins (12) and Mitchell Starc (13) then hit some lusty blows at the death to give some respectability to the Australian total.

Woakes was in action early on as he induced a nick from Warner to deal the first blow and then pulled off a sensational catch at mid-on to remove Steve Smith off Jordan’s bowling.

Woakes then trapped Maxwell in front of wicket as Australia slumped to 15 for 3 in 4 overs.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid (1/19), who had opened the bowling for England, then returned to trap Marcus Stoinis LBW with a googly as Australia were tottering at 21 for 4 in 6.1 overs.

Matthew Wade (18) then joined skipper Finch, taking Australia to 41 for four in 10 overs.

Wade, however, perished in the 12th over after holing out at long-on to Jason Roy off Liam Livingstone.

Finch smashed back-to-back boundaries to cream 10 runs off Tymal Mills, before picking up another boundary off Jordan in the next over.

Agar then exploded in the 17th over as he pulled one from Woakes over deep backward square leg before walloping him for another six over deep midwicket to score 20 runs of the over.

He was back to the pavilion after being caught by Livingstone (1/15).

Cummins then clobbered the first two balls he faced for maximums to give Australia momentum.

But Jordan returned to remove Finch and Cummins in successive balls.

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