Australia beat England by 39 runs in the first Twenty20 International on Thursday at Southampton. Aaron Finch stole the show with his trailblazing 156 off 63 balls. But how did the others perform in the match? Shrikant Shankar analyses the performances of each individual and rates their contribution in the match.
Aaron Finch’s innings of 156 helped Australia take a 1-0 lead in the two-match Twenty20 International (T201) series over England. But how did his performance rate in the match? We take each and every player’s performance in the match and rate it on a scale of one to 10. As a match-winning or brilliant individual performance deserves a higher rating, a below-par or an insignificant show merits a lesser rating. Some may not have much to do in the match, so, their ratings has been given accordingly.
Australia (According to batting order)
David Warner — 5/10
David Warner was dismissed for one after five deliveries, so his ratings will not be very high. Although he was a livewire in the field and on another day could have affected a few run outs.
Aaron Finch — 10/10
Well there is no other rating possible. If ever there was a perfect performance in Twenty20 Internationals, then this was it. Finch broke many records with his breathtaking innings of 156 off 63 balls. He broke Brendon McCullum’s world record score of 123 for the highest individual score in an innings. He smashed 14 sixes, which is also a new world record. Finch struck 11 fours as well at The Rose Bowl. It was also the second fastest century in T20Is as it came from 47 balls. If this does not earn him a 10 on 10 score, then nothing will.
Shaun Marsh — 7/10
Shaun Marsh provided the perfect support for Finch’s onslaught. His 21-ball 28 may not turn heads, but that was mainly because of the brilliance of Finch.
Shane Watson — 7/10
Shane Watson scored 37 from 16 balls to power Australia to a massive total along with Finch. He smashed four fours and two sixes. His rating could have been better, but he conceded 42 runs in his four overs during England’s innings.
Glenn Maxwell — 3/10
There was not much Glenn Maxwell could do on Thursday as he only managed one run off three balls. In fact this was the sort of match he probably did not need much to do.
George Bailey — 3/10
The Australian captain also did not make any important contributions on an individual level. George Bailey scored one run off two balls. His captaincy was also not tested and he could innovate during England’s innings as there were enough runs to work with.
Matthew Wade — 6/10
The Australian wicketkeeper has had a quiet tour to England and this was his first international match. Mathew Wade scored a quick-fire unbeaten 15 off seven balls with two fours and one six. He was also good behind the wickets taking two catches. The first one in-particular to dismiss Alex Hales could have been a nasty one as he almost collided with another fielder.
James Faulkner — 6/10
James Faulkner was the most economical bowler for Australia. He took one wicket for 39 runs. His good use of the slower ball and yorker kept a never-say-die England at bay.
Mitchell Johnson — 6/10
The 2009 ICC World Player of the Year was back in the Australian team and looked fit and bowled very fast. He regularly clocked speeds of over 90 mph. Mitchell Johnson was erratic in his first over as he gave away a no-ball and two wides. He did bowl the only maiden in the match. That itself was an achievement as 457 runs were scored overall to set another world record in T20Is. The left-arm fast bowler also took two wickets.
Josh Hazlewood — 5/10
Josh Hazlewood provided two important breakthroughs during an important part of England’s innings. The right-arm seamer took the wickets of Hales and Luke Wright to dent the England innings early. But still gave away 43 runs in four overs.
Fawad Ahmed — 3/10
This was the debut that everyone was waiting for. Fawad Ahmed looked very nervous and as he bowled a lot of loose deliveries. The Pakistan-born leg-spinner did seem to come to grips with international cricket in his last over as he varied his speed. He did drop a relatively simple chance to dismiss Joe Root late on in the England innings, which cut a few more points.
Michael Lumb started off the England innings in blistering fashion. He hit three fours and one six in his 11-ball 22. Till he got out, England were on par with the required run rate. In the context of things, Lumb could have done better, but was dismissed by Johnson leg-before.
Alex Hales — 3/10
Hales could not provide the start that was expected and needed from him. He didn’t look settled and only managed eight in nine deliveries.
Luke Wright — 3/10
Luke Wright was very unlucky to have been given out caught behind as replays showed there was no visible edge. He scored only four runs off two balls. But he took a pasting while bowling. He gave away 27 runs in two overs and went wicket-less.
Eoin Morgan — 3/10
If England had to chase down Australia’s 248 for six, then a big innings from Eoin Morgan was needed. But unfortunately he was out for a duck as he hit a full delivery from Johnson to Maxwell at cover point.
Joe Root — 8.5/10
Originally Joe Root was not supposed to be in the England team as there was talk of Michael Carberry being included. But Root did not put a foot wrong during his unbeaten innings of 90 off 49 balls. He took an early blow to the helmet as Hazlewood’s delivery took an edge of the bat and crashed into the grill. A piece of the grill was dislodged and Root got a slight cut on the lip. He immediately responded with a four through mid-wicket. Root showed a lot of bravery in his innings and played for the team by forfeiting a chance to score a century. He struck 13 fours and a six. But in the end the target was far away from England’s reach.
Ravi Bopara — 7/10
Ravi Bopara came in at a tough situation (as if the situation was not tough enough) and got England going along with Root. Their partnership of 95 runs for the fifth wicket was important in England not losing by a bigger margin. He survived a close run out call to score 45 runs off 29 balls. He hit four fours and one six.
Jos Buttler — 6/10
The reason Jos Buttler has got a better rating than Lumb is due to the fact that the later had many overs to play with and threw away his wicket. Buttler came in at almost a lost cause situation. He hit one four and two sixes in his innings of 27 off 17 balls.
Stuart Broad — 3/10
Many were surprised when Stuart Broad won the toss and elected to bowl on a flat track. But he could not do anything as Finch was dispatching the ball far away into the stands. Broad took the early wicket of Warner, but that was about it for his contributions in the match.
Steven Finn — 4/10
Steven Finn was very expensive early on in the Australian innings. But the fast bowler did come back a bit towards the end took the wicket of Bailey. He gave away 45 runs in four overs.
Danny Briggs — 3/10
At one point Danny Briggs was England’s most economical bowler. But his last over cost 23 runs. The left-arm spinner took one wicket but conceded 51 runs in four overs.
Jade Dernbach — 7/10
Jade Dernbach was the pick of all the bowlers in the match. After conceding 22 runs from his first two overs, Dernbach only gave away 12 runs from his next two. He was nearly unplayable in his final two overs as he surprised batsmen with his mixture of slower and faster deliveries. Finch was bowled by Dernbach with a slower bouncer that came off the edge. Then Watson was bowled by another slower delivery that the batsman could hardly read. He bowled Maxwell with an in-swinging quick delivery. His spell made sure that Australia did not break Sri Lanka’s world record score of 260 for six as the highest innings total in T20Is.
(Shrikant Shankarpreviously worked with Mobile ESPN, where he did audio commentary for many matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20. He has also written many articles involving other sports for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)