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England fall short despite brutal Bopara

By Rob Barnett

Ravi Bopara fired England’s fastest format fifty, but it was not enough to prevent a 13-run defeat to Australia in the first of three Twenty20 internationals.

Although Bopara flew to a half-century in just 23 balls, his unbeaten 65 from from four more deliveries could not overhaul the hosts’ commanding 213 for four.

Bopara struck seven sixes, mainly to leg, meaning there were 22 in the match - the most in a T20I - played on a featherbed pitch at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval.

He came to the crease with the tourists 98 for five in the 12th over, which soon became 100 for six when England lost two wickets in an over for the second time. Moises Henriques struck twice in the fifth and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who returned impressive figures of 4-30, repeated the trick.

Rapid fifties from opening batsmen Cameron White and Aaron Finch had underpinned the hosts’ total. White fired a 43-ball 75 and Finch contributed 52 from 31 deliveries to a blistering opening stand of 106 that represented almost half of Australia’s runs.

Stuart Broad, who lost the toss, bowled tightly in returning 1-25 but international debutant Chris Lynn’s unbeaten 37 in 19 balls offered late impetus.

While the tourists did not achieve their desired result, they will have been buoyed by England Women stunningly retaining the Ashes with a nine-wicket win in the first part of today’s double-header.

Match Scorecard/ Live ball-by-ball commentary

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Post-Match Presentation

12.05pm - Cameron White is man of the match for his 43-ball 75 at the top of the order that put Australia en route to victory. He shared an opening stand of 106 with Aaron Finch.

White said: “It would have been a pretty good game to watch I would imagine. Batting with someone like Finchy, whose in great form, I was just trying to get him on strike.”

Speaking initially of Australia’s imposing 213 for four, England captain Stuart Broad said: “I actually don’t think it was too many. We didn’t really get going with the batting at all.”

Of Bopara’s England record fifty, Broad added: “Ravi was awesome towards the end but we probably didn’t play as well as we could have done.”

England Innings

Watch highlights of England's innings

11.56am - AUSTRALIA WIN BY 13 RUNS! England 200/9; Bopara 65, Briggs 0 - Bopara clumps two more maximums but it is not enough for England, who post a fine score only to go 1-0 down in the best-of-three series. Coulter-Nile was the standout bowler with figures of 4-30 from four overs.

11.53am - FIFTY! Bopara (23b 2x4 5x6) - The right-hander raises England’s fastest T20I half-century by striking Hazlewood for six over long-off.

11.50am - WICKET! Dernbach run out 5; Eng 176/9 - Bopara continues his resistance with three fours off Christian, but Jade Dernbach is run out by Aaron Finch’s relay from square-leg as Bopara steals the strike for the last over, from which 38 is required.

11.44am - WICKET! Broad b Coulter-Nile 13; Eng 162/8 - The captain pulls for six but is cleaned up next ball by a full-toss that feathered leg stump. At the end of the over England want 52 from 12 deliveries.

11.37am - WICKET! Bresnan b Muirhead 11; Eng 147/7 - Bresnan swings and misses as the debutant leg-spinner gets a first international wicket. Stuart Broad sweeps his first delivery high over the rope, but 59 are needed from three overs.

Great to see so many families here at Blundstone Arena tonight #AUSVENG — CA Digital Media (@CricketAus) January 29, 2014

11.31am - Bopara and Tim Bresnan struggle to get Muirhead away, leaving 86 required from five overs. Consecutive Bopara maximums to long-on off Henriques take the equation down to 70 from four.

11.26am - Muirhead concedes a single to each ball of an over containing a wide before Ravi Bopara smites Hazlewood for two towering leg-side maximums. England need 91 from 36 balls.

11.17am - WICKET! Root c Finch b Coulter-Nile 32; Eng 100/6 - A second blow in the over, Root picking out long-off, could be a terminal one for the tourists.

11.14am - WICKET! Buttler c Muirhead b Coulter-Nile 20; Eng 98/5 - A big breakthrough for Australia as the dangerous Buttler holes out to the cover sweeper.

11.10am - MISSED CHANCE! - Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade squanders an opportunity to run Buttler out when the batsman changes his mind over a single in Dan Christian’s first over, which Root ends by chipping four over midwicket.

11am - Debutant leg-spinner James Muirhead is introduced and Jos Buttler greets him with a huge slog-swept six. Buttler and Root then smack Maxwell down the ground for fours. Root ups the ante further by pulling six and chipping four off Henriques as England reach 91 for four from half their overs.

View from the @bbctms commentary box in Hobart with @AlisonMitchell and @isaguha on air #ausveng — BBC TMS (@bbctms) January 29, 2014

10.55am - WICKET! Morgan b Maxwell 4; Eng 51/4 - Morgan drives Maxwell for four through cover but, next ball, aims a swing to leg only to be bowled. The tourists are in a spot of bother.

10.53am - Joe Root and Eoin Morgan play out the last over of the powerplay, bowled by Hazlewood, that costs just one.

10.48am - WICKET! Hales lbw Henriques 22; Eng 45/3 - The right-hander pays for walking across his stumps as he is trapped plumb in front for the second wicket of the over.

10.46am - WICKET! Wright b Henriques 9; Eng 44/2 - Wright attempts to immediately repeat a pulled four but plays Moises Henriques’ slower ball on to his stumps.

10.39am - Luke Wright edges a lucky four over slip in Josh Hazlewood’s impressive opening over. Hales again strikes Coulter-Nile for fours either side of the wicket.

10.32am - WICKET! Lumb c Lynn b Coulter-Nile 9; Eng 14/1 - Having driven Nathan Coulter-Nile’s first ball for four through point, Lumb then hits him aerially to mid-off where Chris Lynn holds a regulation catch. Hales ends the over with two fours, one either side of the wicket.

10.28am - Michael Lumb drives and Alex Hales, the world’s top-ranked Twenty20 batsman, cuts spinner Glenn Maxwell for fours in the first over.

Australia Innings

Watch highlights of Australia's innings

This will be England's highest T20 chase if they do it. Last time they broke that record Eoin Morgan won the game with a last ball six. — richard hobson (@richardjhobson) January 29, 2014

10.08am - END OF INNINGS! Australia 213/4 - Lynn 37; Christian 6 - Lynn and Dan Christian take Dernbach for a four each behind square on the leg side. Australia will be pleased with their total, but it is not out of reach on an extremely flat pitch.

10.04am - WICKET! Bailey c Bresnan b Dernbach 14; Aus 200/4 - Bailey loops a slower ball tamely to point.

10.03am - Another Lynn six, this time down the ground, is followed by a rusty-looking Bailey’s first four as 14 runs come off Bresnan in the penultimate over that sees the hosts to 200.

9.55am - Lynn announces himself with a straight maximum at the start of an otherwise economical Bresnan set of six. He then clears the square-leg rope off Dernbach, who next ball concedes for byes to a leg-side no-ball.

Spoilt — Andre Mauger (@MaugerVideo) January 29, 2014

9.46am - WICKET! Maxwell c Bresnan b Bopara 20; Aus 157/3 - The reverse-sweep does not work for Maxwell this time as he chips to point. Debutant Chris Lynn is in. Bopara completes a brilliant over that costs just three.

9.40am - After skipper George Bailey gets up and running, Maxwell stunningly reverse-sweeps Briggs for four and six in consecutive balls and then slog-sweeps the spinner for four more as Australia race past 150 in the 14th over. Broad responds with a much-needed miserly over for figures of 1-25 from his four.

9.34am - WICKET! White lbw Wright 75; Aus 134/2 - White welcomes Luke Wright into the attack with a six and two fours from his first three balls. He skies the next delivery to short fine-leg where Briggs takes a steepling catch, but it’s a no-ball. There is a delay as the third umpire checks it was above White’s waist, but the batsman is on his way later in the over to a leg-stump line that strikes him on the front pad.

9.28am - Briggs bowls the first boundaryless over since Broad’s opener as new man Glenn Maxwell opens his account cautiously.

9.21am - WICKET! Finch c Hales b Broad 52; Aus 106/1 - White is lucky to survive when he miscues aerially short of long-on where, next ball, Alex Hales keeps his composure to hold a skier from Finch. England will be delighted to see the back of him. White then deftly guides Broad for four to third man.

9.17am - FIFTY! White (32b 3x4 3x6) - The former Australia T20 captain aerially drives and crisply sweeps Briggs for fours, the latter ushering the hosts into three figures, before taking two to leg to follow Finch to a landmark.

FIFTY for @AaronFinch5 off 26 balls! He's making it look very easy here. AUS 0-89 #AUSvENG — CA Digital Media (@CricketAus) January 29, 2014

9.12am - FIFTY! Finch (26b 5x4 3x6) - White pulls Bopara for another maximum before Finch raises a blistering half-century.

9.05am - Ravi Bopara is into the attack. Finch greets him with a four and White with a six, both to deep square-leg with the latter just clearing the fielder there. Danny Briggs concedes three fours in his first over, two through the off side to Finch and the other from White’s cute reverse-dab.

9.01am - Bresnan ends the batting powerplay, which yields 52, with a good over. Australia have made a strong start but it is a belting pitch so England will not be too concerned.


8.52am - Tim Bresnan replaces Dernbach, and Finch swats his slower ball over the midwicket rope as the pattern of a six an over continues. Finch extends that trend with a four either side of the wicket before a mighty maximum down the ground off the returning Dernbach.

8.48am - DROPPED CHANCE! - Finch, who fired a Twenty20 international-record 156 versus England at the Ageas Bowl last summer, gets in on the act with an emphatic straight six off Broad. Later in the over the batsman survives when Joe Root shells a regulation, low chance at first slip.

8.42am - A decent opening over from Jade Dernbach is marred by White pulling him far over the square-leg rope where an acrobat is spectacularly bouncing on a trampoline. A new ball is needed.

8.35am - We are under way with Stuart Broad delivering a tight over to Cameron White and Aaron Finch, who both get off the mark.

Pre-Play News

8.28am - Broad yesterday stressed that England are fully focussed on these three games rather than being distracted by the World Twenty20 that starts in mid-March. Australia suffered a blow with James Faulkner being ruled out of this series through injury. If you’re unfamiliar with any of the home players, have a look at our profiles of them.

8.20am - While waiting for the game to begin in 15 minutes, why not read about how England retained the Women’s Ashes with a stunning victory in the first part of this double-header?

Australia: Finch, White, Maxwell, Bailey, Lynn, Christian, Henriques, Wade, Coulter-Nile, Hazlewood, Muirhead. — Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) January 29, 2014

Broad: "We've played some really good T20 cricket over the last 18 months and we're excited to get going." — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 29, 2014

8.06am - AUSTRALIA WIN TOSS & BAT - Home skipper George Bailey opts to set a total on a pitch that proved high-scoring in the women’s game and reveals batsman Chris Lynn and leg-spinner James Muirhead will make their Australia debuts. Stuart Broad says he would have batted first.

Eng: Lumb, Hales, Wright, Root, Morgan, Buttler, Bopara, Bresnan, Broad, Dernbach, Briggs #ausveng — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 29, 2014

8am - Hello and welcome to our live text commentary on the first of three Twenty20 internationals between Australia and England, which is taking place at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval. The action is set to start in 35 minutes.

Catching work for @benstokes38 & Michael Lumb #ausveng — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 29, 2014