Woakes seals record T20 win
Debutant the last-ball hero as England notch eighth victory in a row
By Graeme Mair. Last Updated: 13/01/11 7:58am
Woakes: stunning debut
England claimed a record eighth consecutive Twenty20 international victory with a one-wicket success over Australia in Adelaide.
Set a target of 158, the tourists sneaked across the line from the final ball when debutant Chris Woakes (19no) dispatched the winning single.
It was tough on Australia all-rounder Shane Watson, who had almost single handedly kept his side in the contest, following up his 59 in a total of 157-4 with bowling figures of 4-15.
Watson was tasked with the final over, which began with England - world champions in the short format and fresh from their 3-1 Ashes triumph - needing four to win with two wickets intact.
Graeme Swann was bowled first ball and last man Ajmal Shahzad managed just a leg-bye from the next three to leave three still required from the final two deliveries.
Woakes kept his cool, driving through point for two to bring the scores level and then chipping to midwicket for the winning single.
A minute's silence for the victims of the Queensland floods was observed prior to the start of play, both sides having volunteered to donated part of their match fees to help the relief effort.
Australia opted to bat first on a surface that looked full of runs and Watson continued his Ashes penchant for half-centuries and no more, dominating an opening stand of 83 with David Warner.
After a measured start, the innings burst into life when off-spinner Swann was introduced into the attack for the eighth over.
Swann's first three deliveries were all dispatched beyond the leg-side boundary for six by Watson, who took a total of 26 from the over to bring up his 50 from 27 balls.
But he was gone in the next over, left-arm spinner Michael Yardy spearing in a trademark flat delivery to bowl the Queensland-born right-hander as he backed away to cut.
Yardy (2-28) also accounted for Warner, who struggled for fluency during his 28-ball 30, in his next over.
Australia's new T20 captain Cameron White did not hang around for long, holing out to mid-on for six from the final ball of Woakes' allocation, the Warwickshire seamer finishing with 1-34.
David Hussey kept the scoreboard ticking with 28 before being bowled by Tim Bresnan (1-28) with three overs left, stalling Australia's charge at a crucial juncture.
The youthful fifth-wicket pair of debutant Aaron Finch (15no) and Steven Smith (15no) took 35 from the final four overs but Australia's total still looked slightly below-par.
The hosts could have made the perfect start to defending their score but Steven O'Keefe spilled a regulation chance at square-leg to remove Ian Bell from Shaun Tait's opening thunderbolt, clocked at 93mph on the speed gun - and Bell rubbed it in by dispatching three straight boundaries later in the over.
Brett Lee, playing his first international match for over a year, did manage to strike early, Steven Davies (4) caught in the covers second ball attempting a repeat of his opening boundary.
Bell was given a further reprieve on 12, again off Tait, this time Warner failing to cling to a tough chance low to his left before Mitchell Johnson (1-27) finally ended his charmed life on 27, Smith holding on in the off-side.
Kevin Pietersen's stay was brief but explosive, he collected 25 off 11 balls before finding Hussey at mid-off from the bowling of left-arm spinner O'Keefe (1-16).
His exit brought together Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan in the sixth over with the score on 63-3.
A 33-run stand between the fourth-wicket pair kept the run chase on track and, after Collingwood (16) and Luke Wright (0) departed in quick succession, Morgan appeared to be living up to his reputation as the arch one-day finisher.
But the Dubliner, having hit five fours and a six in his 43, chipped straight to Hussey and Yardy edged behind first ball to leave Watson on a hat-trick - and England still needing 28 from 27 balls.
Woakes avoided the hat-trick and soon hammered Tait (1-40) for six over midwicket but Watson struck again in his next over, Bresnan (11) caught by Lee in the deep.
With 15 needed, Lee's penultimate over disappeared for 11 to leave England in the box seat and, despite Watson's best efforts, Woakes held his nerve at the end.
The two-match series concludes in Melbourne on Friday.