England produced a dramatic comeback to seal a stunning victory over Australia in the first T20I at the Ageas Bowl.
England batted first in Southampton and got off to a rapid start, only to be pegged back by some canny Aussie bowling in the middle overs.
Good hitting at the back end got the hosts up to a respectable 162/7 but when the tourists were cruising at 98 for 0 before the end of the 11th over, a hammering looked on the cards.
That is, before Australia collapsed, losing five wickets for just 35 runs and although Marcus Stoinis hung around until the end, a strong final over from Tom Curran secured England an unlikely 2-run victory.
Here are three talking points from the first T20I between Australia and England:
1. Jos is seeing it like a beach ball
Jos Buttler was under enormous pressure earlier this summer, with his position as England’s Test wicketkeeper-batsman rightly under scrutiny.
However, things can change very quickly in sport and after big contributions with the bat in the series against Pakistan mixed in with a few spectacular catches, he is now a player on top of his game.
The 29-year-old has often been seen as the quintessential white-ball finisher, but he opened the batting in this game and looked in frighteningly good touch.
Buttler took Ashton Agar apart before crashing bemused world-class duo Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins for a series of boundaries.
It was a shame that he retreated into his shell a little after the powerplay ended, though, and Agar got his revenge as the Lancashire star holed out in the eighth over for 43.
2. The world no.1s are rusty
Australia are top of the world rankings in this format for a reason.
The tourists have powerful, classy and consistent batmen and a bowling attack which features both genuine pace and wrist-spin.
At times during this opening T20I contest, it looked as though Aaron Finch’s men were going to simply pick up from where they left off prior to the global health crisis.
Yet, their spectacular middle-order collapse was damning evidence of rustiness amongst the ranks.
David Warner and the skipper both uncharacteristically gave their wickets away when set, before Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey all fell cheaply.
Even Stoinis, who stayed until the end, was guilty of trying to overhit when the game was still very much there to be won.
3. Malan has found his niche
Dawid Malan had a year-long crack at the Test arena between the summers of 2017 and 2018, the highlight of which was a hundred against Australia in Perth.
The 33-year-old has a good first-class record and has made a strong start to life with new county, Yorkshire, but he didn’t quite manage to cut it at the highest level of red-ball cricket.
T20Is have been a whole different story, though.
The aggressive left-hander walked away with the Man of the Match award after this one, as his 66 from 43 balls underpinned the England innings.
While the likes of Morgan, Banton and Moeen Ali fell at the other end, Malan kept ticking over before launching an assault against Adam Zampa at the death.
It was yet another match-winning contribution from a player who has found his niche in the international arena.
After 14 innings in this format, he averages a remarkable 51.58 at a strike-rate of 149.15, with one hundred and seven fifties.