England skipper Eoin Morgan blamed his side’s Ashes-like flimsy batting as they succumbed to a five-wicket defeat to a Glenn Maxwell-inspired Australia in their opening tri-series Twenty20 clash in Hobart.
The tourists raced to 94-2 in the 10th over before slipping to 127-8, which included the loss of top-scorer Dawid Malan for 50 as part of a run of four wickets clattering for the addition of just five runs. England eventually posted 155-9.
Maxwell had already claimed 3-10 with the ball before arriving at the crease with Australia 4-2 in the first over of their reply and hitting a stunning unbeaten 103 as the hosts galloped home with nine balls to spare.
“The batting stands out like a sore thumb, it was a really bad day for us,” said Morgan. “The start, I thought, was brilliant and we were looking at a 170 or 180-plus score. We fought incredibly well with the ball.”
As brilliant as Maxwell’s innings was and as much as he proved a point to selectors who dropped him for Australia’s one-day series with England last month, he was twice reprieved.
He was first dropped by Alex Hales at deep square leg on 40, while when on 59 he appeared to be snared by Jason Roy, only for the TV umpire to overturn the on-field umpire’s soft signal of out.
“Jason said it was out. I trust the player’s call. I agreed with the on-field umpire at the time, but I can understand how it got overturned,” added Morgan.
“Sometimes you don’t get those decisions going your way. There were two dropped catches, officially. My opinion doesn’t really matter but we always know TV makes it look worse than it is.”