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England embarrass Aussies in T20 flogging

Australia face a battle to get out of their World Cup group after being handed the worst thrashing of their Twenty20 history from England.

In a Saturday night horror show in Dubai, Australia were rolled for just 125 before England chased it down with eight wickets and 50 balls to spare to remain unbeaten.

It marked a record defeat for Australia in terms of balls remaining, while Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 71 from 32 severely damaged their net run-rate.

Safely second before the game, Aaron Finch’s men are now third and relying on England to beat South Africa next week to give themselves the best chance of progressing ahead of the Proteas.

Australia also have West Indies and Bangladesh in their final two games, two teams they were beaten 4-1 by in series on slower wickets while understrength earlier this year.

“They’re definitely must-wins. Our net run rate took a hammering tonight,” Finch said.

“They completely dominated us from the start … And we had a bad day.

“But there’s a lot of experience in the group.

“I’m not concerned about carrying baggage into a different game against a totally different opposition.”

No Australian was spared, after they slumped to 4-21 early in a game that had all the hallmarks of their 2019 ODI World Cup semi-final loss to England.

Only Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc scored at more than a run a ball with late cameos, while the latter was the last to fall on the final ball of the innings.

Again Chris Woakes was the destroyer early, with 2-23, drawing David Warner’s edge on one and Glenn Maxwell lbw on six.

He also took a spectacular one-handed catch at mid-on to get Steve Smith, after the Australian tried to pull a Chris Jordan (3-17) ball that moved away from him.

It forced Australia into a conservative approach, with Finch fighting for 44 from 48 and Ashton Agar the only other man to make 20 after being brought in for Mitch Marsh.

“Clearly when you go three-down in the powerplay, it’s not an ideal scenario when you when you go in with (one less batsman),” Finch said.

“We were just blown away.

“Any time we felt like we started to get a partnership we just kept losing a wicket.

“It meant we had to try and sit in longer to hopefully get to a total of around 150.

“But as it was, we probably needed a few more.”

Australia’s struggle was best summed up by the fact they managed just 12 boundaries, and their opening six-over powerplay of 3-21 was better only than Papua New Guinea’s against Bangladesh this tournament.

In comparison, England were 0-66 at the end of theirs as Jos Buttler launched a remorseless assault down the ground on Australia’s bowlers.

He provided five of England’s eight sixes, as Starc went for 0-37 from his three overs, Cummins 0-14 from his one and Adam Zampa 3-37 from his three.

Zampa and Agar (1-15) had the only success, the former removing Jason Roy lbw for 22 and the latter getting Dawid Malan caught behind for eight.

But by then the game was long gone, with Australia facing the hard road to the finals.

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