Australia and England resume hostilities tomorrow with slightly different rules to play to. Meeting in the T20 format for the first time this summer, both teams will be quietly confident of their chances. The David Warner led Australian outfit looked fresh and inspired against New Zealand in the series opener last Saturday, ultimately running out seven-wicket victors in a rain affected match. Billy Stanlake set the match up for his side with a searing opening spell that yielded three wickets before the Australian middle order, boasting the highly-talented Glenn Maxwell and Chris Lynn, mopped up the runs with ease. Given the fact Australia hasn’t lost to England at home in this format in four consecutive matches, it’s understandable that they have been inserted as the firm favourite. However, there is plenty of reason to like England here especially after their new-look side put in a strong performance in their T20 warm-up match against the Prime Minister’s XI which saw them chase down 136 in 12.4 overs. Add that to the fact England were the far better side in the ODI series, and there’s an argument the tourists are perhaps the side to beat. Although we’re tipping the Aussies, expect this to go down to the wire.
Key stat: The winning side in five of the last six T20 matches between Australia and England has scored a total over 175.
Given the batting riches in the Aussie side, any total under 200 would almost be disappointing. A genuine case can be made for any one of recognised batsmen (Warner, Finch, Short, Lynn, Maxwell, Stonis, Head and Carey) to be High Bat although it must be said that the generous $4.50 odds on D’Arcy Short are particularly tempting. Despite a failure in his international debut last Saturday, the left-hand bat amassed 500+ runs in the Big Bash this season whilst his last three scores at this venue are 59, 42 and 96. For the away side, David Willey is bound to be popular after his heroics in the Canberra warm-up. The all-rounder took an incredible 34 runs from one Nathan Lyon and notched up an impressive 79 from 36 balls.
Key Stat: Playing for England and the Scorchers, four of David Willey’s last six scores have been 25+.
Tip: Australia to win with D'Arcy Short to be Australia's Top Runscorer