Jos Buttler made a dashing 77 not out as England beat Australia by six wickets in a series-clinching win in the second Twenty20 international at Southampton on Sunday.
Victory saw England go an unbeatable 2-0 up in a three-match contest. England, set 158 to win, finished on 158/4 with seven balls to spare.
They needed 18 off the last two overs, with Australia having failed to score 19 off two overs in a dramatic two-run defeat in the first game on Friday.
But England got there in five balls from Adam Zampa, with Moeen Ali hitting a six and a four off successive deliveries from the leg-spinner.
Buttler finished the match with a huge straight six off Zampa. He faced just 54 balls, including eight fours and two sixes with this innings Buttler’s highest score in a T20 international, surpassing his 73 not out against Sri Lanka at Southampton four years ago.
Victory was set up by England’s attack, who held Australia to a modest 157/7 after the tourists had won the toss.
Jofra Archer had David Warner caught behind for a third-ball duck and Australia were 89/5 with seven overs left before a late-order rally gave them a glimmer of hope.
England saw Jonny Bairstow drive Mitchell Starc for two fours before he fell to the left-arm quick in bizarre fashion when, swinging round from a pull, he knocked over the stumps with his bat and was out hit wicket for 19.
But Buttler drove paceman Kane Richardson for six and the in-form Dawid Malan hit two fours off successive deliveries from spinner Glenn Maxwell. And when left-arm spinner Ashton Agar came on, Buttler skilfully reverse-swept him for four.
Pat Cummins was recalled to the attack but left-hander Malan drove him over extra-cover for a superb four before Buttler pulled him for another boundary.
A stand of 87 ended when Malan holed out for 42 off Agar but Buttler continued to manipulate the field.
England, who have struggled for Powerplay wickets, made a sensational start after losing the toss when fast bowler Archer had the dangerous Warner caught behind for nought.
Warner reviewed immediately but replays confirmed he had gloved the ball and Australia were nought for one.
Australia were 3-2 in the second over, after left-hander Alex Carey, promoted to number three in place of star batsman Steve Smith, gave himself room to drive but only edged Mark Wood, like Archer a 50-over World Cup winning fast bowler, to wicketkeeper Buttler.
Archer, topping speeds of 91 mph, was removed from the attack after a spell of one wicket for eight runs in two overs.
Smith, in at No 4, pulled Tom Curran for six. But he was run out for 10 by England captain Eoin Morgan’s underarm direct hit from midwicket with just one stump to aim at. The series concludes at Southampton on Tuesday.
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