Australian cricket team's devious act that could knock England out of T20 World Cup

England's T20 World Cup hopes hinge on the result of Australia's match with Scotland.

Australia's men's cricket team have both a unique and hilarious opportunity to progress through to the finals of the T20 World Cup and send England home in doing so. Australia's match against England was set to be the first real test of their T20 World Cup campaign but it ended up being anything but as Australia cruised to a 36-run victory on Saturday.

Australia's openers David Warner (39 from 16 deliveries) and Head (34 from 18) laid the groundwork to help Australia reach 7-201 - the highest total at the tournament to date. And in response England were always well behind the required run rate after Aussie legspinner Adam Zampa sent both English openers packing early.

Australia's head coach Andrew McDonald says he is not plotting England's downfall at the T20 World Cup despite Australia having an opportunity to send them packing. Image: Getty
Australia's head coach Andrew McDonald says he is not plotting England's downfall at the T20 World Cup despite Australia having an opportunity to send them packing. Image: Getty

The win kept the Aussies undefeated through two matches at the World Cup and means they will finish top of Group B if they beat minnow nations Scotland and Namibia in their final two games before the Super 8 stage. However, one other team will progress into the final eight from Group B and Australia potentially will get the opportunity to take England's progress out of their hands.

Should England defeat both Namibia and Oman, their hopes of reaching the last eight will hinge on the outcome of the final Group B game between their Ashes rivals and neighbours Scotland. With net run-rate set to be the deciding factor there is a good chance that Australia will have an amount of runs they can win by and still send Scotland through to the last eight at England's expense.

When asked if twisting the knife on the old enemy was part of the plan, Australian coach Andrew McDonald said Australia's focus is first on winning their match against Namibia. However, he admitted if Australia get the win against Namibia they have the opportunity to rest some players for the Scotland clash.

"We're not really focused on England and where they're at. We played them, we've moved past them and we'll do what's important to us," McDonald said. "We haven't got the option of talking about that at the moment. Namibia, first and foremost.

"England have clearly got their own work to do in the next couple of games. It's always difficult, you're always dependent on other results and, yeah, it's not a nice situation to be in but as I said that's for them to work through, not us... We need a win to guarantee ourselves a way through. After that, once we've firmed up that qualification, then we can start to look at that potential if we feel like it's necessary."

England vice-captain Moeen Ali admits the Poms are in "backs against the wall" mode at the T20 World Cup as they fight to keep their hopes alive. The reigning champions had a forgettable week in Barbados to kick off their title defence, making a slow start in their washed-out opener against Scotland before being outclassed by Australia on Saturday.

But all is not lost for England and Ali said their previous campaigns had also teetered in the balance before ending in triumph - with the 2022 T20 edition and the 2019 World Cup both entering 'must-win' territory before England were crowned champions.

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - JUNE 08: Jos Buttler interacts with teammate Moeen Ali of England after the ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024 match between Australia  and England at  Kensington Oval on June 08, 2024 in Bridgetown, Barbados. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)
Moeen Ali says England are used to having their backs against the wall.

"In the last T20 World Cup when we won it, we had to win every game so we're kind of used to doing this with our backs against the wall," he said. "I don't care about the last 50-over World Cup - that's done - but I think in this World Cup we can do a lot better. It's about being calm and not letting the outside noise affect us.

"You can't get too down and go into our shells or say 'What if this happens?' We've just got to be really ruthless in those next two games and start playing our best cricket otherwise we're going home. We need to be more aggressive without being reckless, not overthink things, and take those two teams down."

with AAP