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Live Commentary: England vs. Australia - as it happened

Take a look back at a dramatic Twenty20 International between England and Australia with Sports Mole's text commentary.
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England claimed a dramatic five-run win over Australia in a Twenty20 International at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff.

The hosts were in trouble on 18-2 after being asked to bat first, but vital contributions from Moeen Ali (72*) and Eoin Morgan (74) guided them to a score of 182-5 from their 20 overs.

Despite looking on course to chase down the total for much of the innings, Steve Smith's (90) departure proved to be key as Australia went on to lose three wickets in an excellent final over from Ben Stokes, who restricted the tourists to 177-8.

Read below to find out how the drama unfolded.


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Good afternoon everyone. Many England fans are still on a high after the Ashes triumph, but it is time for a different set of players to take centre stage as they meet Australia in the only Twenty20 International of the tour. Plenty of big hitting and drama on the way over the next few hours.

After the embarrassment of the World Cup, England were challenged to alter their approach to ODIs and T20Is and the early signs have been good with the success over New Zealand earlier in the year. One T20I and five ODI matches follow against Australia, who are as good as they come with the white ball.

AUSTRALIA WIN THE TOSS AND WILL BOWL FIRST: Steve Smith confirms that the tourists will bowl first after watching the ball swing in the game between the women's sides earlier on.

ENGLAND: Hales, Roy, Ali, Morgan, Stokes, Buttler, Billings, Rashid, Willey, Finn, Topley

AUSTRALIA: Warner, Watson, Smith, Maxwell, M. Marsh, Stoinis, Wade, Coulter-Nile, Starc, Boyce, Cummins


The big news for England is that Essex seamer Reece Topley makes his debut. Joe Root's rest means that Moeen Ali will bat at three as James Vince and Chris Woakes miss out for the hosts. England have a long batting lineup, with David Willey down at nine.

Marcus Stoinis makes his debut for Australia, while leg-spinner Cameron Boyce earns a spot in the side after flying to England just for this game. Shane Watson opens the batting alongside David Warner, while Glenn Maxwell is expected to come in at four.

Speaking at the toss, Morgan said: "We'd have had a bat if we won the toss. Left-armers are hard to come by and if you have players with quality like Reece Topley you get him in. It has been a magnificent summer for us. We hope to continue playing with freedom."


All eyes will be on Mitchell Starc today. Despite being just 25, the left-armer is the leader of this attack in limited-overs cricket and he proved at the World Cup just how dangerous he can be with the white ball. If there is swing around, Starc will make an impact.


Alex Hales and Jason Roy are ready to kick off this match. Starc will bowl the opening over. Play!

Starc begins the match by pushing one across Roy, who is happy to watch the ball go through to Matthew Wade. A cut shot past point allows England to start the scoring with a couple of runs, before Wade is forced to take a leg-side wide. A second extra follows when Starc goes too wide outside off-stump. David Warner does superbly well to keep the ball from reaching the rope when Roy splits two fielders with a push through point. Starc then makes it three wides in the over. Roy attacks one at the end of the over but misses with a big swing outside off-stump. Not a great start from Starc.

Nathan Coulter-Nile takes the new ball from the Cathedral Road end and Hales immediately gets off the mark with a single behind square on the leg-side. Roy is struck when he misses with a pull, before slicing a run down to Starc a third-man. The England openers trade singles once again to take four from the over.

Roy twice picks out the fielder at mid-wicket as the Surrey batsman begins to show more intent with his shots, but Starc does well to push the ball wide of off-stump when he backs away midway through the over. Shot! England's first boundary arrives as Roy pulls over square-leg for four runs. A single to deep mid-wicket hands the strike to Hales, who finds a quick run to cover. Roy 11 Hales 3*

Cummins urges the umpire to raise his finger when he strikes the pad first up, but the ball was always sliding down the leg-side. A second lbw appeal follows. It's a full-toss and the Australians are certain. A replay shows it would have also missed leg-stump.

WICKET! HALES (3) B CUMMINS

Cummins strikes and it's another full-toss. Hales is beaten for pace by a ball clocked at over 90mph. Important breakthrough for Australia.

As always, Moeen Ali gets a great reception and he's off the mark immediately with a single past point. Cummins is bowling very, very quickly. A 92.5mph delivery is driven straight to cover by Roy.

WICKET! ROY (11) C COULTER-NILE B CUMMINS

What a start for Cummins! Roy looks to take the aerial route but he can only miscue his shot and Coulter-Nile takes a fine catch running backwards on the off-side. One run and two wickets from the over. England under pressure.

Eoin Morgan is the new batsman and the captain takes three balls to get off the mark with a late cut to third-man for a single. Coulter-Nile delivers a bounce which should probably be called a wide down the leg-side as Ali misses with a pull. Starc does the chasing to stop the boundary when Ali drives through the covers for three runs, before Morgan is beaten on the outside edge. Excellent from the Australian bowlers.

Impressive from Cummins once again as he finds the off-stump line at the same pace that caused problems for England in his previous over. A run of three dot balls forces Ali to call for a risky single and he breathes a sigh of relief when a replay shows he was home when the stumps were hit by Coulter-Nile. A superb over is spoiled when Morgan drives to the cover rope for four runs. Brilliant from Cummins again, though.

Lovely timing on show from Ali as he lofts the ball over the covers for four when Smith throws the ball to Mitchell Marsh for the first time. A couple of off-cutters are delivered well, but Ali finds a single off the second variation. Morgan comes charging down the pitch but is unable to connect with the big swing. A pull shot sends the ball very fine and the captain collects four, before a single to third-man allows him to keep the strike. 10 off the over.

Glenn Maxwell is into the attack for the first time. The off-spinner changes his pace nicely early in the over. Morgan and Ali both find the singles. A sloppy piece of fielding from Starc in the deep allows England to sneak another run and Morgan puts in the dive to punish him. Six from Maxwell's over, but Smith probably won't mind that too much.

Smith keeps the changes coming as Stoinis comes on for his first over in international cricket. Six! Ali is the first player to clear the rope as he skips down to pull a shorter ball into the stands. The pressure remains on the new boy as Ali follows the six by hammering four more to the mid-wicket boundary. A sharp bouncer gets Morgan in an awkward position but the ball drops safely after an unconvincing pull shot. Ali makes it 13 from the over with a push to deep point for one.

Excellent work from Wade to leave the stumps to chase down the ball and prevent Morgan from sneaking two early in the over. It's good stuff from Maxwell once again as he breezes through his second over for the cost of just six runs. 10 overs left.

Morgan has been kept pretty quiet so far but his confidence is growing as he comes down the pitch to loft the returning Marsh over mid-on for a boundary. Six! The England skipper is definitely in now as he launches the straightest of sixes over the bowler's head. It's hit so well that the ball is retrieved by a man walking past the ground! Marsh comes back well to keep England to 11 from the over. Morgan is now England's leading run-scorer in this format. Morgan 27* (19) Ali 29 (24)

Coulter-Nile is back into the attack for the tourists. Morgan gets enough of a pull shot to earn a single off a slower ball, before Ali goes over mid-wicket for a couple. The contact is even better a few moments later as Ali lofts four runs to the mid-wicket boundary and the frustration is clear for Smith and Coulter-Nile when the left-hander shuffles across the crease to beat the man at short fine-leg for four more.

Australia really need a wicket and Smith decides to turn to Watson, whose first ball is sliced over point for a single. Six! Morgan fancies his chances against the all-rounder and a baseball-style shot sends the ball out of the ground for the second time in the innings. England continue to pick the gaps and take 11 from the over. Morgan 37* Ali 41

Boyce is handed his first over of the match and he's immediately a touch too short as Morgan earns a single to long-on. Six! The pressure is on the leg-spinner as Ali launches the second ball down the ground for six runs. 50! Too short from Boyce and Ali capitalises to reach his half-century from 31 balls by pulling through mid-wicket. Another six follows when Ali uses his feet to clear the rope wide of long-on. Boyce improves, but he concedes 19 off the over.

Six! Smith persists with Watson, who is left watching another ball head into the stands when Morgan goes straight down the ground again. Good running earns the captain two to deep cover, before a slower ball catches a leading edge. Luckily for Morgan, the ball lands well short of Smith. Six! Stunning from Morgan, who reaches his 50 by charging down before adjusting to pull a bouncer over the square-leg rope. What next? Another six, of course, as Morgan hits the ball flat down the ground. The pressure is on and the home fans cheer when Watson is punished for a wide. A single makes it 22 from the over. Morgan 60* (34) Ali 58 (33)

Cummins is back after taking 2-6 from his first two overs. A wide full-toss is pushed to deep cover by Morgan for a single, before Ali rotates the strike again with a chip into the leg-side. Sixes! Excellent from Morgan once again as he reacts to the full-toss to earn six over the fielder at long-off. Even Cummins is being punished now as Morgan makes it back-to-back sixes by sending the slower ball over the mid-wicket boundary.

WICKET! MORGAN (74) C WATSON B COULTER-NILE

Morgan is close to another six, but he's just a yard short as Watson holds on at long-on to give the returning Coulter-Nile a wicket with the second ball of the 17th over. Superb innings from the England captain. Jos Buttler in next.

Good running from the new partnership as Ali works the ball through mid-wicket for a couple, before a pull to the same area earns him a single. Buttler gets off the mark with a run off the final ball of the over. Coulter-Nile finishes with 1-24 from four overs.

Perfect from Buttler as he stays outside the line of the ball to clear wide mid-off with a lovely lofted shot. Six! A second boundary follows when Buttler launches the ball over the mid-wicket rope, despite not appearing to find the middle.

WICKET! BUTTLER (11) C CUMMINS B STARC

Starc responds to 10 runs and a wide from the first three balls by removing Buttler, who can only find Cummins at mid-on as he looks to attack another length delivery. It's Sam Billings, rather than Ben Stokes, who comes in next.

Starc comes round the wicket for the new batsman and goes very full to Billings, who is unable to halt a run of three dot balls at the end of the over.

Ali begins the penultimate over with a single to deep cover, before Billings miscues a pull and sneaks a single when the ball drops short of mid-off. Cummins gets away with one when Ali hammers a drive straight at the extra cover fielder. An attempt to turn the ball to fine-leg doesn't go to plan, but Ali still manages to rush a couple when the edge sends it down to third-man. Billings is then struck by a 93.7mph delivery and he jogs to the other end to add the leg-bye to the total. Cummins takes 2-25 off his four overs. Six balls remaining.

Good work from Billings to get off strike at the start of the over. Superb timing from Ali once again as he steers the ball over point for four runs. A sliced drive off the full-toss earns him another run to deep cover.

WICKET! BILLINGS (2) RUN OUT: Billings hits a full-toss straight to mid-off and attempts to hurry a single, but Smith is quick with the throw to Starc, who does the rest at the stumps. It takes a while for an easy decision to eventually be confirmed. Two balls left.

Ali can only a single from a good yorker. Stokes faces the final ball and he is forced to settle for one run with a push to mid-off. Good comeback from Australia late in the innings. Ali 72* (46) Stokes 1*

It will be a tough chase for the tourists, but the pitch is a good one today and Australia will certainly fancy their chances after pulling back England with some fine death bowling. Australia need 183 to win in Cardiff. Warner and Watson will be out there in just a few minutes.


With 182 runs on the board, England have to be considered favourites but it could come down to how they start with the ball. Watson and Warner are capable of taking the game away from the hosts if they fire in the opening 10 overs. England will need early wickets.

The players are back out in the middle. Warner and Watson to open. Willey takes the first over. The target is 183. Play!

Two slips in place for Warner, who watches the first ball swing just a bit as he finds a fielder on the off-side. A firm drive past extra cover earns the left-hander a couple before he survives an lbw appeal. Height was probably the issue for the umpire. Warner then lofts two more over cover.

WICKET! WARNER (4) C FINN B WILLEY

In a dismissal similar to a couple we saw in the Test matches, Warner gets himself in trouble when he abandons a pull shot. Willey catches the top edge and the ball carries to Finn, who takes the catch at third-man. Important breakthrough for England.

Finn starts his spell with a poor short ball which Watson pulls away for four. The comeback is impressive as he beats the outside edge with one that nips away. Shot! Textbook from Watson as he plays the perfect cover drive to earn four more through extra cover.

WICKET! WATSON (8) B FINN

Stick to cricket, Mr Watson! Finn nips one back and Watson is forced back to block. The ball creeps back towards the stumps but the opener's attempt to kick away is unsuccessful and he is forced to depart. England on top as Maxwell comes out to block the final ball.

Smith starts his innings with a single to deep square-leg, before Maxwell gets off the mark by drilling a wider ball through the coves for four midway through Willey's over. A shorter ball surprises Maxwell, who wears one on the elbow as Willey comes back well. Poor with the next ball from the Northants all-rounder as he drops one short with fine-leg up, and Maxwell capitalises to pull for four. 10 from the over.

Maxwell looks to have found some form at the start of this innings as he drives Finn straight down the ground for four runs. His impressive start almost comes to an end when he calls for a risky single after the ball crashes against the pad off the inside edge. Stokes misses with the throw as Maxwell struggles to get back before being gifted the single with no one backing up. Smith punishes a shorter ball with four to deep square-leg. Finn is fully aware that was the wrong ball to Smith, who is then restricted to a single when Stokes somehow gets a hand on a slice dive at backward point.

Big moment for Topley as the 21-year-old comes into the attack for the first time in international cricket. Two dot balls are followed by a clever slower ball which Smith only just manages to get over a diving Willey at mid-on. A mistake in the field hands Smith a single when he cuts powerfully. Just five from Topley's opening over.

Six! Morgan decides to give Finn a third over and the skipper immediately watches Smith loft the seamer down the ground for six runs. The Aussie captain rotates the strike with a single off the pads, before Finn goes fuller to beat Maxwell when he backs away to the leg-side. It's a decent comeback from the bowler. Eight off the over. Australia will be pretty happy with their work in the six-over powerplay. Smith 18 Maxwell 14*

Topley is agonisingly close to his first international wicket when a wild heave results in Maxwell earning four off the inside edge. It was just a few inches away from off-stump. Stokes is in the game when the Australian duo take on a risky single but he misses with the throw running in from point once again. A mistake from Hales in the deep allows Maxwell to collect four as the ball sneaks under the fielder's hand. Shot! Maxwell could be the key man today. He punishes Topley's half-tracker with a pull over mid-wicket for four more.

Rashid is into the attack for the first time. Morgan does well at extra cover to block a powerful drive from Smith, who then gets enough bat on a wider one to earn a single. Maxwell rotates the strike again with a nudge to long-on. The singles are easy to come by, but it's a good start from the leg-spinner. Six off the over. Australia need 119 more from 12 overs.

Stokes is thrown the ball now as he looks to make an impact after facing just one ball with the bat. The all-rounder goes very straight to the right-handed pair to restrict the room on offer at the crease early in the over. A good start to his spell is ruined when Smith rocks back to pull a shorter ball away for four. Australia take nine from the over. Smith 28* Maxwell 30

Six! We all know how good Smith is against the spinners and he displays his class to everyone at the SWALEC Stadium by skipping down the pitch to launch Rashid over the long-on boundary. Another lofted shot down the ground earns him a run, before Maxwell sweeps a couple through fine-leg. Rashid ends up conceding 13 from the over. Better from Australia.

Excellent fielding from Finn in the deep as he forces Smith into a dive with a brilliant throw. Buttler whips the bails off, but the Australian captain gets home to collect two. A swing and a miss follows when Smith comes charging down the pitch. Excellent batting on show from the skipper as earns two on the leg-side, before cutting powerfully for four more. Poor from Stokes to drift that wide. Smith 46 Maxwell 34*

Six! Rashid offers up a freebie with a half-tracker and Maxwell is in no mood to reject the gift as he launches the ball into the stand behind the square-leg boundary. 50! Smith reaches a half-century for the first time in a T20I by driving his 36th ball down the ground for four. Good running from these two is keeping the pressure on the hosts. 73 more needed from 48 balls.

It looks like Topley will be given the responsibility to bowl at the death on his debut as Finn comes back for his fourth and final over. Smith brings up the 100 partnership with two on the off-side, before Billings earns applause from the Cardiff crowd with a superb piece of fielding to keep the ball away from the mid-wicket boundary on the slide. Six! Darren Lehmann is clapping on the sidelines when Smith launches a huge six over mid-wicket. Great batting as Maxwell continues to play a supporting role to his captain. 14 off the over. Finn goes for 1-39 from his four overs.

WICKET! MAXWELL (44) C STOKES B ALI

Stunning from Ben Stokes! England make a vital breakthrough thanks to an excellent catch. Stokes is forced to sprint towards the mid-wicket boundary when Maxwell takes the aerial route and he holds on while diving to his right. Ali takes a wicket with his first ball. It could be an important moment in the match.

Marsh is the new batsman and Ali delivers two dot balls to the all-rounder when Smith hands the strike to his partner. A single to long-on does arrive before Smith adds another to deep mid-wicket. Three runs and a wicket from a brilliant Ali over.

Stokes comes back into the attack, but it's a familiar feeling as an England bowler drops one short to allow Smith to hammer the ball into the leg-side for four. Finn and Billings combine at deep square-leg to prevent Marsh from reaching the rope later in the over. Australia need 49 from five overs.

Topley comes round the wicket to Smith and starts with a good slower ball before the Australian captain earns two to deep cover. A yorker follows as Smith adds two more to deep cover and another full ball is hit away for one. Marsh collects two of his own on the leg-side before working the final ball into the leg-side to keep the strike. Eight off a good over from Topley.

Superb batting from Smith as he gets outside off-stump to work the returning Willey through fine-leg for four. Six! There's not much he can't do. Smith displays his class in successive deliveries to drive over the cover boundary for six more. Willey hits back well to beat him with a slower bouncer. A single hands the strike back to Marsh, who settles for one to deep square-leg. Smith 87 Marsh 8*

England do not need mistakes in the field at this stage, but the tourists will be delighted as Ali allows the ball to sneak through his hands and to the rope. Marsh and Smith then trade singles.

WICKET! MARSH (13) B TOPLEY

This is why Topley is in the side! He delivers an excellent slower ball out of the back of the hand and Marsh is completely fooled as he goes for the big slog into the leg-side. Australia need 22 from 14.

Stoinis immediately gets off the mark with a single and Smith adds another to keep the striker. Topley finishes with 1-35 from four overs. 20 needed off the final two overs.

Smith drills the ball into the leg-side to pick up a single. Stoinis shuffles across the crease to nudge Willey down to fine-leg.

WICKET! SMITH 90 (52) C BILLINGS B WILLEY

Are England back on top? Smith's fantastic knock comes to an end when he finally miscues a big shot to pick out Billings, who comes in from deep mid-wicket to take an easy catch. Australia still need 18 from nine balls. Willey is standing up when it matters.

Stoinis doesn't worry about the four men on the leg-side as he pulls the ball into the air to just beat Billings, who can't keep the ball from going for four. A fuller delivery brings just one and hands the strike to Wade, who adds a single to wide long-off. 12 needed off six balls. Stokes will bowl the final over.

WICKET! WADE (2) RUN OUT (MORGAN)

Wade is furious. He's certain that the two is possible when he drives just wide of Morgan at long-off, but he is sent back and Stokes collects the throw to whip the bails off.

Stoinis is feeling the pressure as he misses with a wild swing. Stokes is almost smiling as he eyes up the batsman. A wide down the leg-side follows and Stokes is not smiling anymore. Stoinis is then forced to settle for one when he hits the full one down the ground. Nine needed from three with Coulter-Nile on strike.

WICKET! COULTER-NILE (0) C RASHID B STOKES: Superb from Stokes as he hands England the control with two balls remaining. Coulter-Nile needs to attack immediately but his sliced effort goes straight up to give Rashid an easy catch at short third-man.

WICKET! CUMMINS (7) RUN OUT: Superb fielding once again. Stoinis has no choice but to go for the second run as Australia look to keep the hope of a super over alive. Roy's throw could not be better Stokes does the rest to make it three wickets from three balls.

ENGLAND WIN BY FIVE RUNS: Stokes keeps his foot behind the line and England wrap up a dramatic victory! Excellent final over from the England all-rounder.

Australia looked to be on course for the win with Smith at the crease, but his departure was followed by panic from the tourists. Stokes and Morgan capitalised to secure the win to complete a fantastic match at Cardiff. It is another successful day for this new group of England players.

That's all from our live coverage. Thanks for following the action with me this afternoon. Goodbye.

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Peter Siddle of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Adam Lyth of England during day three of the 5th Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at The Kia Oval on August 22, 2015
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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