England and New Zealand picked up contrasting victories against Australia and Bangladesh respectively on Wednesday, to continue their buildup to the T20 World Cup.
In the must-win match in Canberra, Australia, who will defend their title at home, recalled their first-choice bowling attack of pace trio Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, as well as, spinner Adam Zampa.
The hosts started strongly by reducing England to 54-4 but number three batter Dawid Malan dug his side out of the hole with a calculated knock of 82 from 49 balls, to help them post a total of 178-7.
Malan got effective support from all-rounder Moeen Ali, who made 44 off 27, and the duo added 92 for the fifth wicket to prop up England’s innings.
Australia, who won their maiden T20 World Cup title last year in the United Arab Emirates, lost the opening pair of David Warner and captain Aaron Finch early in their chase, as they reached 170-6 to lose by eight runs, the same margin by which they were beaten in the opening match in Perth.
Left-armer Sam Curran was the pick of the English bowlers, and he showed nerves of steel towards the closing stages to deny Australia a victory, with figures of 2-35 from his four overs.
The win gave England an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series providing a boost to their confidence ahead of the World Cup, which kicks off with the qualifying group stages on Sunday.
In Christchurch, hosts New Zealand booked their spot in Friday’s tri-series final against Pakistan, with a commanding 48-run victory over Bangladesh.
Devon Conway’s 64 at the top of the order and a quickfire 60 off 24 balls from Glenn Phillips, allowed the Black Caps to post 208-5 after Bangladesh won the toss and opted to field.
Adam Milne took 3-24 with his fast and accurate pace bowling to help New Zealand restrict Bangladesh’s chase to 160-7.
Captain Shakib Al Hasan’s knock of 70 of 44 deliveries was the only highlight for Bangladesh, who will play Pakistan in a dead rubber on Thursday, before crossing the Tasman Sea for their T20 World Cup campaign.
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