England’s long and cheerless cricket tour of Australia ended with one last, resounding defeat Sunday when it was beaten by 84 runs in the third Twenty20 international.
An Ashes tour that began full of promise and optimism 100 days ago, crawled to a downbeat ending as Australia made 195-6, batting first after winning the toss, and dismissed England for 111 in 17.2 overs.
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The win extended Australia’s superiority over England in all forms the game, allowing it to follow a 5-0 sweep of the Ashes Test series and 4-1 win in the one-day internationals with a 3-0 rout in the Twenty20 series. In 13 matches against Australia this summer, England won only once. The England team that will leave Australia Monday seems a pale shadow of the one that arrived 3-1/2 months earlier, favored to win a fourth-straight Ashes series.
The tour had many casualties. Leading batsman Jonathan Trott departed early after suffering from an anxiety-related illness; spinner Graeme Swann announced his retirement after the third Test in which Australia completed a series victory and fast bowler Steven Finn returned home during the one-day series.
Test coach Andy Flower has already been forced from his job and Alastair Cook, who led England with increasing despair through the Tests and ODIs, is uncertain whether he wants to continue as captain. Others, including batsman Kevin Pietersen, may be discarded as England attempts to rebuild after one of its most disastrous tours.
All the elements of its dismal summer were encapsulated in its defeat on Sunday. England’s performance wasn’t entirely without spirit but, just as it began to seem competitive, a couple of brilliant individual performances from the Australians took the match beyond its grasp.
Captain Stuart Broad, who endured all 100 days in Australia, produced one last, plucky effort and took 3-30 from his four overs and England briefly checked Australia’s scoring through the middle of its innings. Broad dismissed Brad Hodge and Dan Christian in quick succession as Australia faltered from 130-3 to 139-6 at the end of the 16th over.
But Australia captain George Bailey reasserted his team’s dominance with an unbeaten innings of 49 from 20 balls, smashing 24 runs, including two sixes and three fours, from the last over bowled by Jade Dernbach.
Bailey hit three sixes and four fours in a wildfire innings that broke England’s spirit and ended its defiance, for which he was named Man of the Match.
Earlier, Cameron White and Aaron Finch gave Australia a sound start, putting on 48 for the first wicket in 6.4 overs. White made 41 from 37 balls and Finsh 30 from 21.
There was almost no pluck left when England came to bat: the fight had gone out of them and they appeared to be thinking only of the flight home.
Luke Wright was out for 8, Alex Hales for 6 and Ben Stokes for 5 as England staggered to 25-3 after five overs where Australia had been 27-0. Eion Morgan offered a little, fragmentary resistance by scoring 34 from 20 balls but Joe Root fell for 11, Jos Buttler for 8 and when Morgan got out, England were 82-6.
Brief scores: Aus 195/6 (G Bailey 49, C White 41; S Broad 3/30) lost to Eng 111 all out (E Morgan 34; J Muirhead 2/11)