Australia finally managed to pull one back in the three-match series against England in the final encounter at the Ageas Bowl. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh played an unbeaten knock of 39 runs to guide his side in pursuit of 146 runs. As a result, Australia have retained their top spot in the ICC Men’s T20I Rankings.
Australia had started the series at 278 points, 10 ahead of second-placed England. But they were overtaken by their rivals after losing the first two matches. Australia and England were both on 273 points at that stage with England marginally ahead on decimal points.
Australia regain top spot in ICC Men’s T20I Rankings
However, the visitors return to the top within two days of losing the spot. They are now on 275 points and England on 271. India, who host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup next year, are third with 266 points and Pakistan fourth with 261.
The Aussies came into this game with their confidence majorly hit after losing the series. However, they had to retain their top spot in the rankings. With usual captain Eoin Morgan missing after dislocating his finger in the previous match, Moeen Ali took over the charge.
Australia win by five wickets! 🎉
— ICC (@ICC) September 8, 2020
Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to field first. Some tight bowling from Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood at the top helped them keep the England batsmen in check. Adam Zampa provided the much-needed impetus dismissing Dawid Malan and Sam Billings within his first two overs.
The leg-spinner halted England’s progress as Jonny Bairstow was trying to break free with a half-century. However, skipper Moeen and Joe Denly managed to provide some late impetus and boosted England up to a challenging if slightly below-par 145 for six.
Australia’s reply got off to flying start as they picked up 16 runs from Jofra Archer’s opening over, including a huge six over square leg by Matthew Wade. With 60 required from the last 10 overs and eight wickets in hand, Australia looked to be cruising to victory. Although England bounced back with a couple of wickets, Mitchell Marsh (36-ball 39*) to get his side home.