England hold off Australia

Hussey's late onslaught in vain

Last Updated: 17/09/12 4:22pm

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England got their preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 off to a winning start as they overcame Australia by nine runs.

England, who begin the defence of their title in earnest against minnows Afghanistan at Premadasa Stadium on Friday, survived a couple of shaky moments before coming out on top.

Although David Warner had fallen for a first-over duck chasing 173 for victory, Shane Watson (37) and Mike Hussey (71) had threatened to take the game away from them at Nondescripts CC.

Watson and Hussey shared 74 for the second wicket before England's bowlers managed to hit back.

Watson eventually fell to Graeme Swann, but Hussey carried on the fight in impressive fashion.

Swann (1-21) and Danny Briggs did their best to stem the tide - with the latter having Cameron White stumped for nine.

Hussey, though, brought his half-century up with a six and promptly followed up with two more big shots over the ropes and a four - with the luckless Briggs seeing his figures decimated by the onslaught.

However when Stuart Broad finally ended Hussey's charge for 71 the Australia resistance quickly folded.

Tim Bresnan bowled George Bailey for just three, while Glenn Maxwell (18) was caught by Jonny Bairstow off Steven Finn (2-26).

Needing 22 off the final over, Australia didn't even come close as Bresnan held his nerve to seal the win.

Chances

Earlier Hales and Wright had provided the backbone to England's innings of 172-6 on a stodgy pitch.

Hales continued to take advantage of Kevin Pietersen's absence at the top of the order with 52 - although Australia had their chances to end his innings early on a number of occasions.

Warner missed a run out chance while Hales was on three, while wicketkeeper Matthew Wade had a tough diving half-chance off Dan Christian and a feasible stumping off Brad Hogg.

And Hales made Australia pay as he reached his half-century off 36 balls.

Wright, who came to the crease after Craig Kieswetter (8) was caught by Watson in the deep off Mitchell Starc, shared a stand of 88 for the second wicket.

He hit three fours and a six in his 35 before he was caught at deep square leg off Hogg.

The veteran spinner also removed Hales soon after, while Jos Buttler managed just five before he fell to Starc.

Eoin Morgan (30) and Bairstow (18) added a late flurry of runs, though, to move the scoreboard on.

And although Watson accounted for Morgan and Bairstow was run out by Starc, England's final total proved to be good enough for the victory.

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