England’s defence shaky after defeat to Australia in World T20

SUMMARY: Australia 201-7 from 20 overs (David Warner 39, Mitchell Marsh 35, Travis Head 34, Marcus Stoinis 30, Glenn Maxwell 28; Chris Jordan 2-44) vs England 165-6 from 20 overs (Jos Buttler 42, Phil Salt 37; Pat Cummins 2-23, Adam Zampa 2-28)

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England’s T20 World Cup defence is already in danger after a damaging 36-run defeat by Australia in Barbados.

After a roaring start, their old rivals piled up 201-7 before England’s batters fell away badly in their pursuit.

Jos Buttler and Phil Salt reached 73-0 but after Salt fell in the eighth over England slipped further and further behind the required rate as wickets tumbled.

They ended on 165-6 with Buttler’s 42 their highest score. In truth the game was won in the first five overs, however.

Travis Head and David Warner flogged England’s bowling with a partnership of 70 off 30 balls.

Seven of Australia’s 13 sixes were hit in their opening stand, giving them the platform to post the highest score of the World Cup so far.

England now will likely have to win their final two games against Oman and Namibia to have a chance of avoiding the embarrassment of failing to reach the Super 8 phase, and even that may only set up a scenario where they rely on net run-rate to pip Scotland.

After Tuesday’s washout with Scotland, this was supposed to be the day England’s tournament burst into life, putting behind them their struggles in defending their 50-over world title last year.

Instead, as their oldest foes celebrated in the Caribbean sun, they are left with familiar questions to answer. (BBC)

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