Dawid Malan’s 82 and disciplined bowling from England helped the visitors win Wednesday’s second Twenty20 international against Australia by eight runs to seal the streak and give them a confidence boost for the World Cup. Malan shared a crucial 92-run streak with Moeen Ali (44) in Canberra as England compiled 178-7 against a full-strength Australian attack. Although Mitchell Marsh hit 45 balls from 29 and Tim David 40 balls from 23, the hosts fell behind. Sam Curran went 3-25 to ensure England won the three-game series 2-0, with a game on Friday being a setback for the world champions.
“Really satisfying win after also losing the draw and setting a goal,” said England skipper Jos Buttler.
“I think we showed great character and Malan played fantastic to anchor the innings.”
Malan hit seven fours and four sixes in his 49-ball knock to save the visitors after they plummeted to 54-4 in the ninth over.
Ali also impressed after Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and opted for Bowl, making five changes from the side who also lost by eight runs in Perth.
Pace spearheads Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, and spinner Adam Zampa all returned for the hosts after resting for the first T20.
Buttler fell to 17 against Cummins, with Zampa having a difficult high catch.
Alex Hales, who shot 84 balls from 51 in Perth, lasted just seven balls for his four runs before sinking against David Warner in front of Marcus Stoinis.
Star all-rounder Ben Stokes continued his usual form lately, he was bowled out by Zampa for seven and when Harry Brook got an advantage against Stoinis they were down 54-4.
But Malan was rock solid and expertly found the gaps to reach his 14th half century.
Zampa eventually ended the partnership and tempted Ali into another big hit and he was caught on the ropes before Malan, who was out in the final over, caught a late riot.
“We were really bad in the field, sloppy, missing a few chances, especially when we lost four in the first 10 overs,” said Finch.
England rested pacesetters Mark Wood and Chris Woakes but they still found a way to restrict Australia.
Finch fell down the rankings in recent games but returned to partner Warner for the first time since their Sri Lanka tour mid-year.
But he never settled and fell out cheap again, for 13.
Warner, who was on form, followed three balls later in four to battle Australia 22-2 in the fifth over.
Glenn Maxwell’s recent poor form continued, falling out for eight before Marsh and Marcus Stoinis forged a quick 40-run partnership to keep them in contention.
Stoinis chose 22 followed by Marsh, with Australia’s fate lying to David and Matthew Wade. They needed 59 of the last five overs but failed to deliver the fireworks required.
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