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09 June 2023

England win thriller to set T20 record

England captain Paul Collingwood (C) holds the trophy and celebrates with teammates after beating Australia by one run after the completion of the Twenty-20 cricket match at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide. (AFP)


Debutant Chris Woakes guided England to a record eighth successive Twenty20 international win as the tourists inflicted more torment on Australia with a last-gasp one-wicket victory at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.

Despite all-rounder Shane Watson's best efforts to single-handedly lift the home side to victory, 21-year-old Woakes (19 not out) was the hero as he hit the winning run from the final ball of the England innings.

After Australia posted 157-4, with Watson top-scoring with 59 from 31 balls, England wobbled in the chase as Watson picked up four wickets, but Woakes' cool head enabled them to reach 158-9 and snatch the win.

England previously shared the record for most successive T20 international wins with South Africa and Pakistan and the result follows hard on the heels of their historic 3-1 Ashes triumph over the embattled Australians.

With wickets falling at the other end, Woakes kept his cool when he found himself on strike with his side needing three runs from the last two balls from Watson with only one wicket in hand.

He slashed the next delivery to the cover boundary for two, then drove Watson through the infield for what would have been a boundary had he and number 11 Ajmal Shahzad not completed the winning run first.

Woakes' innings came after Eoin Morgan put England on the path to victory with 43, but the match turned when the left-hander holed out to Watson, who then removed Michael Yardy with the next ball to be on a hat-trick.

Watson could scarcely have done more for the home side, with 4-15 from his four overs after his solo effort with the bat.

The powerful right-hander hit three sixes from the first three balls England spinner Graeme Swann bowled and took 26 off the over.

But he was bowled by Yardy (2-28) and Australia failed to build on the foundation he had provided after being 76-0 after eight overs.

None of the other Australian batsman looked comfortable, with new captain Cameron White, taking over from Michael Clarke, making just six.

The two teams meet again on Friday at the MCG, before playing a seven-match one-day series.