Bailey brilliance seals series for Australia
By Glen Robertson
George Bailey's 28-ball 60 not out helped Australia record an emphatic eight-wicket victory against England and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Twenty20 series.
Cameron White’s unbeaten 57 - from 49 deliveries - ensured the Australia skipper had a great platform to build on when he came to the crease with his side needing 78 runs for victory.
And his blistering display saw the England bowlers hit all around the MCG, with all three of the game’s sixes being compiled by Bailey.
England posted 130 for nine as they looked to avenge the 13-run defeat at Hobart on Wednesday, having won the toss and chosen to bat.
The tourists needed a batsman to stay at the crease for an extended period of time but, despite six of their line-up reaching 16, none of them went past 22 as they struggled to post an intimidating score in the second of three T20 internationals.
Skipper Stuart Broad, in his 50th T20I, and Tim Bresnan put on 34 for the eighth wicket - England's highest partnership - to rescue the side from 96 for seven, but Josh Hazlewood’s 4-30 helped put the hosts in a commanding position.
Although they started their response with a flurry of fours from White, the impressive Tim Bresnan - who took 1-11 from three overs - soon trapped Aaron Finch lbw.
Glenn Maxwell was also dismissed early, holing out to Bresnan at deep square-leg off the recalled James Tredwell, but Bailey and White ensured there would be no slip-up from the hosts, who raced to the target with 31 balls unused.
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11.40am - Josh Hazlweood is man of the match for his figures of 4-30.
Hazlewood said: “I’ve got this opportunity with the Test team away (in South Africa) so I’m making the most of it. It’s been a great summer so to be part of it at the end is unreal.”
England captain Stuart Broad said: “We’re disappointed with the way we played but sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition. Two needless run-outs in the middle (of our innings) denied us a decent score.”
Australia skipper George Bailey said: “Another great performance with the ball certainly set the game up.”
Watch highlights of Australia's innings at the MCG11.30am - AUSTRALIA WIN BY EIGHT WICKETS AND TAKE AN UNASSAILABLE 2-0 LEAD IN THE SERIES! Australia 131/2; White 57, Bailey 60 - Bailey finishes it off with successive fours off Tredwell and Australia win with 31 balls to spare. Bailey and White were both at their brilliant best and England were comfortably beaten.
CHANCE! Bopara puts down a return catch and Bailey survives. Went quick but straight at him. #AUSvENG — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 31, 2014
11.25am - FIFTY! Bailey (24b 5x4 3x6) - Bailey has been superb and reaches a half-century by guiding Bopara down to third man.
11.21am - FIFTY! White (38b 8x4 0x6) - White completes a second fifty of the series, and Bailey is swiftly approaching one with another maximum, this time Tredwell is the one who sees his delivery fly into a delirious MCG crowd.
11.16am - Bailey is at it again, sending Dernbach straight back down the ground for a huge six, then follows it up with a four through deep midwicket. The over costs 18 runs and Australia are rapidly closing in on victory.
11.12am - Bailey gets away with one, getting a top edge to an attempted pull off Broad, but it just brushes the outstretched finger of a leaping Jos Buttler and away to the fence for four. Australia require 50 runs to win.
11.08am - Bopara almost has White playing on during his first over of the contest. But Australia keep the scoreboard ticking over with five singles. England need wickets.
11.05am - George Bailey dispatches Tredwell over long-on for the game's first six. Australia are 71 for two after nine overs, needing 60 from 66 deliveries to secure a series win.
England dragging it back a little here with Tredwell and @timbresnan but they still need wickets. 63/2 in the 9th. #ausveng — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 31, 2014
10.56am - WICKET! Maxwell c Bresnan b Tredwell 2; Aus 53/2 - Tredwell frustrates Glenn Maxwell, who then tries to slap the spinner for six but his shot comes up short, and Bresnan gratefully accepts the opportunity at deep square-leg.
10.52am - Bresnan keeps things tight and Australia are 50 for one following the powerplay. England were 48 for three at the same stage. James Tredwell comes into the attack.
10.47am - WICKET! Finch lbw Bresnan 10; Aus 48/1 - Bresnan gets his reward as he traps Finch lbw. The batsman is not happy but, with no reviews in T20Is, he has no choice but to depart. England could do with another couple of quick scalps to halt Australia's momentum.
10.43am - Tim Bresnan successfully builds some pressure and almost creates a chance as Ravi Bopare has a shy at the stumps with Finch wandering out of his crease. The ball misses, though the batsman would have been safe had it been a direct hit. Dernbach does not have the same success at the other end, with White pushing one straight down the ground for another four, then cutting through point for another two boundaries.
10.38am - Broad starts his response well with four well-pitched deliveries that yielded two singles, but a fuller fifth and short sixth were dispatched to the mid-on and deep square-leg boundaries respectively by Finch.
10.33am - Jade Dernbach is also on the receiving end of White's aggression. The opener adds further fours through cover and then square, before Finch finally gets to face his first delivery from the final ball of the second over and he goes aerially but it lands short of Tim Bresnan at third man.
Crowd in good voice here at the MCG after a third boundary. 12/0. #ausveng pic.twitter.com/ofmo8uNkGG — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 31, 2014
10.29am - Just the start Australia will have wanted. White goes big on the second ball, driving Broad over extra-cover for four, then delicately flicks down to third man for another. And White makes it a treble of boundaries from the opening over with a pull to deep square-leg.
10.25am - Stuart Broad will open the bowling, as Australia's big-hitting duo Cameron White and Aaron Finch stride out to the middle.
Watch highlights of England's innings at the MCG
10.06am - END OF INNINGS! WICKET! Tredwell b Hazlewood 0; England 130/9; Broad 18 - Hazlewood cleans up James Tredwell with the final delivery and England have 130 to defend. Broad and Bresnan did well to get England up to that total following the earlier damage. The duo will have to get their breath back quickly following a lot of scampered runs at the death. Their efforts with the ball will be key in putting some pressure on Australia.
10.04am - WICKET! Bresnan b Hazlewood 18; Eng 130/8 - Bresnan smacks a four down the ground but falls from the penultimate delivery as he plays on to his own stumps.
10.01am - Hazlewood delivers a wide first up. England run three from the next ball, though Broad was close to being caught on the long-off boundary and then Bresnan survives a run-out appeal.
Slides and boundaries and all sorts happening! 130/7, 2 balls left... #ausveng — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 31, 2014
9.57am - Broad is unable to get his bat to the first three balls from Starc, but scampers a single from the fourth following an inside edge to the leg side. Bresnan also takes one run having hit to deep backward point, before Broad can't get a clean connection from the last delivery but manages another single. Starc finishes with 1-19 following a superb final set of six.
9.53am - Broad goes within inches of the game's first six, instead settling for a one bounce four at deep square-leg. England push up to 115 and need a couple of big overs now.
9.47am - The 100 comes up with leg-byes off Starc. Stuart Broad and Bresnan are capable of big hits in these closing overs but they are struggling to get the ball away. They manage just two singles from the five deliveries following the leg-byes, taking the tourists to 105.
9.44am - Bresnan top-edges a pull but it drops just short of Aaron Finch, who had run in from long-on. England take three from the over and are 99 for seven with 24 deliveries left.
9.41am - WICKET! Buttler lbw Coulter-Nile 22; Eng 96/7 - The pressure tells as Buttler is hit on his pads as he tries a flick to leg and departs having made 22 from 28 balls.
9.40am - Muirhead is similarly disciplined, restricting England to just two singles from his final over. The 20-year-old finishes his work with figures of 1-17.
9.37am - Superb from Hazlewood, who concedes just two runs - one of which was a wide - on his return to the attack. England are yet to reach 100 with six overs left to bat.
9.30am - WICKET! Bopara c Maxwell b Muirhead 6; England 87/6 - Bopara is unable to repeat his heroics as he hits out against Muirhead but can only pick out Maxwell at deep midwicket. Tim Bresnan is denied a boundary by a terrific piece of fielding by Starc, but the Yorkshire seamer adds five from the first three balls he faces.
9.25am - Buttler shows his great power with a pull through midwicket for four, then a mis-field by Muirhead gives away a single. Australia then appeal for a stumping against Bopara off Muirhead, but the England batsman has his back foot grounded before the bails were removed and the third umpire gives a not-out verdict.
9.19am - England could do with another special Ravi Bopara performance. He and Buttler have the capability of dragging England to a competitive total, and the latter hints at what he can do with a well-timed pull through midwicket for a first four in 27 deliveries.
9.14am - WICKET! Root run out (White) 18; Eng 63/5 - Another one goes. Maxwell's lightning-quick reactions leave Root inches short of his crease as he and Jos Buttler go for a second run, and Cameron White whips off the bails to leave England five down.
9.12am - James Muirhead keeps things tight as he is introduced to the attack, conceding five singles as England look to regain their composure.
13 overs still remain for England to rebuild. @joeroot05 & @josbuttler at the crease, with the in-form @ravibopara up next. #ausveng — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 31, 2014
9.07am - WICKET! Morgan run out (Hodge) 6; Eng 55/4 - Hodge is enjoying a superb return. Having not shone with the ball, he's taken a great catch and now runs out Morgan with a direct hit. Morgan's dive got his bat over the line before the ball struck, but it was not grounded, having bounced off the surface, as the bails came off and his glove was inches short of the crease.
9.04am - England take 48 from the powerplay as Root punishes a wide one from Hazlewood by picking up his third boundary. Eoin Morgan is off the mark in the seventh over with a reverse-sweep for four.
8.58am - WICKET! Hales c Starc b Hazlewood 15; Eng 42/3 - Joe Root punches his first delivery through point for a boundary and follows it up with another with a lovely cover drive. Hales adds another four off the opening ball of Hazlewood's next set of six but departs from the fourth delivery when a thick edge flies to third man Starc, who keeps his eye on it for a long time but still needs to dive forward to complete the catch.
8.54am - WICKET! Wright c Hodge b Starc 0; Eng 30/2 - That's a blow for England as Luke Wright's half-volley outside off stump is brilliantly taken down low by a diving Hodge at extra-cover.
8.49am - WICKET! Lumb c Coulter-Nile b Hazelwood 18; Eng 24/1 - Lumb's promising start is over as he goes for a big one but miscues it high into the air, and Coulter-Nile makes no mistake at mid-on.
8.47am - DROPPED CHANCE! - Hales gets a thick edge off Mitchell Starc straight to gully, but Glenn Maxwell shells a regulation opportunity. Hales punishes the mistake by finding the deep midwicket boundary.
8.43am - Nathan Coulter-Nile keeps things tight for the first half of his opener, but Lumb then sends him to the boundary twice in the next two balls.
8.38am - And it's a good start from the tourists. Michael Lumb helps himself to successive boundaries, cutting through point and a sweep backward of square, as England score 10 from the opening over. Not the return Hodge will have envisaged, but it's his batting that could be key today.
8.35am - Brad Hodge will open the bowling on his return to the side with Alex Hales on strike.
8.33am - The Australia team and England openers Michael Lumb and Alex Hales make their way out into the middle at the iconic MCG.
The great @bradhodge007 getting love from a new generation #ausveng pic.twitter.com/xzNpMjgDuD — CA Digital Media (@CricketAus) January 31, 2014
8.20am - We're 15 minutes away from the start of play so you can fill the time by reading about how England Women got on at the MCG earlier today .
Australia - Aaron Finch, Cameron White, Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey, Chris Lynn, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Muirhead.
England - Michael Lumb, Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Jade Dernbach, James Tredwell.
8.11am - Australia make two changes to their team, with Mitchell Starc and 39-year-old Brad Hodge coming in for Moises Henriques and Daniel Christian.
It's the 50th T20 cap for @StuartBroad8 today. First person to get there and "it's a real honour" says Stuart. pic.twitter.com/opjgcStCnA — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 31, 2014
8.06am - ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND WILL BAT - Stuart Broad correctly calls tails on his 50th T20 international appearance and wants to post a total first to put Australia under pressure. He also reveals one change, with James Tredwell replacing Danny Briggs.
Run-ups being marked out. Good banter from @ravibopara - he says he's coming off his long run tonight! #sightscreen pic.twitter.com/CwGiUAhPj7 — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) January 31, 2014
8am - Good morning and welcome to the penultimate game of the men's Ashes tour as England and Australia go head-to-head at the MCG in the second Twenty20 international.