Australia skipper Aaron Finch has said that the England team completely dominated his team right from the start. The Eoin Morgan-led side beat Australia by eight wickets as they chased down the target of 126 runs with a whopping 50 balls to spare thanks to Jos Buttler’s 71 runs off just 32 balls.
Morgan won the toss and asked Aussies to bat first in Dubai on Saturday, October 30. Australia had a horrendous start as they lost four wickets for 21 runs in the form of David Warner, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis. Finch and Matthew Wade tried to steady the innings before Wade caught at long on Jason Roy off the bowling of Liam Livingstone when the scorecard read 51/5. Ashton Agar tried to bring some momentum to the innings with two sixes off Chris Woakes in the 18th over before he was dismissed by Tymal Mills in the next over.
The Australia batting unit was restricted to 125 all out in exactly 20 overs. Chris Jordan took three wickets while Woakes, Mills took two wickets each and Adil Rashid and Livingstone took one wicket each. In reply, English openers Jason Roy and Jos Buttler provided an explosive start to their team as they added 66 runs in just 6.2 overs before Roy was trapped lbw by Adam Zampa. English batsmen kept scoring briskly as Johnny Bairstow and Buttler attacked Zampa. Zampa conceded 37 runs in three overs. England chased the target of 126 runs in just 11.2 overs to maintain their net run-rate of 3.948. Finch after the defeat said that his team was completely outplayed.
"It was just one of those nights. Davey [David Warner] got a decent one early, Smithy [Steven Smith] toe-ended one and Maxi [Glenn Maxwell] missed a pick-up off his pads which you'd generally expect him to hit. That can happen in the powerplay when you're looking to be aggressive. [We were] just blown away.
"They completely dominated us from the start. Any time you go a handful down in the powerplay… every time we felt like we started to get a partnership together, we just kept losing a wicket and it just meant we had to sit in longer, try and get a total of 150, and see if that would be competitive. As it was, we probably needed a few more.
"It wasn't too long ago that we were No. 1 in the world. I still think we're a very good team in T20 international cricket. Everyone's got their own opinion so that doesn't really matter; what really matters is results. If you think that we're a really ordinary side, that's okay," Finch said.
The Aussie skipper added that the decision to include Ashton Agar in the playing was because England batsmen struggle against the left-arm spinners.
"Clearly when you go three down in the powerplay, it's not an ideal scenario when you go in with that structured team. The reason Agar was in there was that we felt he was a really good match-up for England, said the Aussie skipper.
"His ability to bowl in the powerplay and through the middle overs in the past against England has been really good so we just felt that was the way to go tonight. It was not a reflection on how Mitch has been going at all - it was purely just a match-up thing for this game. It was unfortunate that we didn't get the job done.
"I think obviously in the powerplay, they bowled very well, put us on the back foot, and we were under pressure to try and get to a competitive total. All credit to England, in that powerplay, the way that they squeezed us, kept taking wickets… when you go in with six specialist batters, that is going to leave you a little bit short at times."
The 34-year-old further added that the team is looking forward to the must win games against Bangladesh and West Indies.
"The boys deserve a couple of days off," he said. "We'll recharge the batteries, have a couple of strong days of training and then be back into it: I'm not concerned about carrying baggage into a different game against a totally different opposition.
"They're definitely must-wins. Our net run-rate took a hammering tonight so we're going to have to be at our best. Bangladesh are a very, very good side and so are the West Indies - a lot of firepower in their team, a lot of experience. It's must-win from now on - but we're looking forward to it."