Thu, 28 Sep 2023

Sydney [Australia], November 20 (ANI): Australia stand-in captain Josh Hazlewood mentioned that leading the side is fun after the team's 72-run victory against England in the second ODI of the three-match series at Sydney.

England fell short by 72 runs and lost the ODI, chasing a target of 281 runs in the second ODI, costing them the series.

"It's good fun having captaincy. Will obviously hand it back to Pat for the last game. Will see what Melbourne dishes out. He said he's back (Smith). Summer looks good for him," expressed Hazlewood.

The pacer mentioned that the wicket looks to easy bat when the team is able to stitch partnerships but a wicket could also trigger a collapse.

"It looks easy to bat on when a partnership is going. But only a wicket away from causing a collapse on such a pitch. Very happy with 280," mentioned the lanky seamer.

Coming to the match, Steve Smith scored his second fifty of the series before speedster Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa bowled superbly to help the team secure a 72-run victory against England.

Opting to bat first, Australia lost in-form David Warner in the sixth over to Moeen Ali, as the batter failed to replicate last match's innings.

His opening partner also walked back to the pavilion in the ninth over with Australia losing both the openers inside the first ten overs.

Smith's 94 off 114 balls was the highlight of Australia's innings, including a flowing half-century from Marnus Labuschagne and a more gruelling effort from Mitchell Marsh, who also smashed a fifty.

The middle-order batters did set the stage for the finishers, but the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Agar could not capitalize with Australia ending with 280/8 after the end of the 50 overs.

England never totally lost control of the ball, owing largely to Adil Rashid's three wickets, but 280 seemed extremely competitive on a surface that was not particularly conducive to scoring.

Smith top-scored with 94 (114) while Labuschagne played a breezy inning of 58 (55). Adil Rashid was the pick of the bowlers picking up three wickets.

Chasing the target, England got off to a disastrous start as Starc removed Jason Roy and Dawid Malan in the first over.

Pacer Josh Hazlewood also added a wicket to his name in the sixth over, removing Philip Salt for just 23 (16). The visitors lost their top-three batters under the 10-over mark.

England presented a strong example of the batting depth they possess as the number five and six batters stitched a 122-run partnership to bring England back into the game.

James Vince and Sam Billings hit Agar for successive sixes, putting on a magnificent fourth-wicket stand of 122 in 22 overs, putting England back in a position where the target seemed reachable.

But, after Vince swung across the line at Hazlewood for an umpire's ruling of lbw, Zampa made the critical breakthroughs in the middle order, including Billings for 71, as he took 3 for 0 in nine balls and England lost 7 for 52.

The loss of seven wickets in quick succession proved to be the undoing of the 2022 T20 World Champions as they fell short by 72 runs. (ANI)

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