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Australia into final of T20 tri-series


Australia into final of T20 tri-series

Australia's unbeaten run through its opening three matches in the T20 series means it is guaranteed of making the final at Eden Park in Auckland on Feb 21. This could allow Warner to be rested from the final pool match against the Black Caps, also at Eden Park, on Friday.

Australia booked their place in the T20 Tri-Series final with a crushing seven-wicket win over England at the MCG. The win was the third in as many games for David Warner's side as they knocked off the 138 needed for victory with 5.3 overs to spare.

Jos Buttler top-scored with 46 for England but for the second game running they were unable to apply any pressure to Australia's batsmen as they posted a significantly under-par total of 137-7 and, even without any one standout innings, the home side were able to cruise to victory.

England were again asked to bat first and looked on for another quick start as 12 came off the first over. However, three wickets in the next three overs, ending with Warner brilliantly running out Dawid Malan (10) with a direct hit, stopped them in their tracks and they never recovered.

James Vince (21) and Buttler started to rebuild but AJ Tye broke the 36-run stand with a superb slower ball yorker that bowled the former.

At 70-4 in the 11th over, England could ill afford a collapse akin to the one that proved so costly in Hobart but the more circumspect approach from Buttler and Sam Billings left them needing a grandstand finish just to reach a relatively competitive total.

To that end, a pair of boundaries from Billings to begin the 18th over was a good start but he was caught off Billy Stanlake (2-28) from the next ball and when Kane Richardson (3-33) had Buttler caught on the rope from the last ball of the innings, England were 137-7.

David Willey had Warner (2) caught behind in the first over to hand the tourists a glimmer of hope -- the stand-in Aussie skipper's poor form in this series continuing -- but Chris Lynn soon snatched that from them.

He smashed two fours and a six as the next over from Tom Curran went for 16 and by the time he fell to Chris Jordan in final over of the powerplay Australia were 51-2.

D'Arcy Short (36no) and Glenn Maxwell took a few overs to get themselves in before taking 39 off two overs, England spinners Adil Rashid and Liam Dawson feeling the full force of the two Aussie power-hitters.

Jordan (2-26) returned to dismiss Maxwell (39) but it was little consolation for England, whose defeat was confirmed when Aaron Finch (20no) bludgeoned back-to-back sixes off Willey.

England must now win both their games against New Zealand to be guaranteed a place in the final.

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