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Australia too strong for Ashes rivals in fiery Cup clash | cricket.com.au

Travis Head and David Warner set a solid platform before Adam Zampa left England’s hopes of progressing beyond their control

Match Wrap | Aussies sink England in scintillating display

Australia have left their fiercest rivals on the verge of an early flight home, surging to a 36-run win over England in a fiery T20 World Cup contest in Barbados.

The Ashes combatants traded barbs on a hot and windy afternoon but Mitch Marsh’s men took the bragging rights thanks chiefly to Travis Head (34 off 18 balls) and David Warner (39 off 16) scorching the biggest Powerplay score of the tournament (2-74).

Shrugging off a heated earlier exchange with Matthew Wade, England captain Jos Buttler (42 off 28) put his side neck-and-neck with the Aussies after a blistering opening partnership with Phil Salt (37 off 23).

But it was Adam Zampa, so often Australia’s iceman in big games, who delivered in dismissing both of them and then squeezing the England middle-order.

Zampa (2-28 from four overs) removed both Buttler and Salt, putting the brakes on along with the recalled Pat Cummins (2-23) and Josh Hazlewood (1-28).

The result sees England’s tournament hopes fall out of their control. They will have to rely on trumping Scotland’s net run-rate if both teams win their remaining matches.

“They came out with a lot of intent, put us under a lot of pressure straightaway,” captain Buttler said post-match.

“We fought well, but they took wickets at crucial times and played really well.

“Outside the Powerplay was going to be the challenge, credit to Australia, their seamers were very consistent, making us hit to the long side. We came second today, but it’s all laid out for us, what we need to do (to progress).”

Australia on the other hand now have breathing room. A slip-up against Namibia or the impressive Scots would not necessarily be fatal. They face those teams next week in Antigua and St Lucia respectively.

Warner and Head smashed 67 runs in the space of 24 balls during the opening stanza of play on a pitch that deteriorated quickly in both teams’ innings. The Australian openers laid the platform for their 7-201, the side’s highest total at a T20 World Cup.

England were 0-73 in reply as Mitchell Starc (0-37 from three overs) copped a pounding, though his cause was not helped when Head stepped on the third-man rope on a catch attempt off Salt.

A chance to dismiss Salt went begging when Head trod on the rope // AFP

Enter Zampa, who clean bowled Salt with his first ball of the afternoon before a Buttler reverse-sweep was caught at point, a wicket savoured by the fired-up Wade.

Wade had earlier fumed while he batted after pulling out of facing an Adil Rashid delivery, blocking it as he backed away. It was unclear whether it was the ground music or Buttler making a field change that had distracted him.

Wade argued his case stridently with umpire Nitin Menon, who shooed him back to face the next ball, before sharing tense words with both Buttler and Rashid.

Wade was again centre-stage when the other umpire, Joel Wilson, made his fourth incorrect decision in two Australian games, giving the keeper-batter out caught-behind off his elbow. More words were exchanged as Wade immediately reviewed.

England’s anger was mostly directed at themselves, however, with Rashid showing his displeasure after a mix-up between Jonny Bairstow and Jofra Archer saw a ball roll away between them for four with no attempt made to stop it.

Barbados local Archer, playing his first game against Australia in four years, was terrific but his fellow bowlers struggled as Mark Wood (0-32 off three), Chris Jordan (2-44 off four) and Rashid (1-41 off four) copped the brunt of the onslaught.

The solar-panel lined roof of the Greenidge and Haynes Stand took a hammering after Buttler inserted his opponents, watching helplessly as Australia’s openers butchered his bowlers.

Buttler rolled the dice in trying to quell the two left-handers with a second over of Powerplay off-spin after Moeen Ali’s first went for just three.

It backfired as Will Jacks got carted for 22. The more credentialed Wood, who held his spot in the side over Reece Topley, coughed up the same number from his first over.

Marcus Stoinis continued his strong start to the tournament as he pumped 30 off 17 before dismissing the dangerous Jacks.

The allrounder then featuring in a stingy three-over period with spinners Glenn Maxwell and Zampa that saw 11 runs scored between overs 11 and 13 when England needed to put the foot down.

Marsh (35 off 25) and Maxwell (28 off 25) had put on 65 for the third wicket to take advantage of the platform laid by Warner and Head. 

2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

Australia’s squad: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Australia’s Group B fixtures

June 6: Beat Oman by 39 runs

June 9: Beat England by 36 runs

June 12: v Namibia, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua, 10.30am AEST

June 16: v Scotland, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 10.30am AEST

Super Eights, finals to follow if Australia qualify

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