England face daunting chase as Australia hit highest score of this T20 World Cup

England conceded the the highest total yet at the T20 World Cup as Australia piled the pressure high on Jos Buttler’s side with a score of 201 for seven in Barbados.

Four days after an indifferent bowling display in their washed out game against Scotland, an unchanged attack was sprayed around the Kensington Oval as their Ashes rivals helped themselves to 13 sixes and 14 fours.

David Warner (39 off 16 balls) and Travis Head (34 off 18) set the tone with some spirited hitting after being sent in and England never quite recovered their composure in a flat-footed display that leaves the batters with plenty to do to kickstart the campaign.

Travis Head hits six from the bowling of Will Jacks
Travis Head hits six from the bowling of Will Jacks (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

England opened up with spin at both ends, an unexpected move which began with a tidy over from Moeen Ali but veered off the rails as soon as Will Jacks was asked to share the new ball.

A part-timer with a grand total of two overs to his name in his previous 14 appearances, Jacks was smashed for 22 as the gamble blew up. Aiming with the breeze towards the short boundary, Head launched the first two deliveries for six before Warner began his innings with a flick over deep square.

England looked to correct their mistake by replacing him with a burst of speed from Mark Wood but watched on helplessly as Australia smashed another 22 off the quick. A length ball on leg stump, a shorter delivery on middle and a loose full toss all received the full treatment, sailing all the way as Head and Warner swung hard.

Australia reached 50 off just 22 balls, easily the fastest start of the tournament to date, with a small measure of respite finally arriving when Moeen bowled Warner with one that kept low.

Chris Jordan celebrates with Moeen Ali the dismissal of Australia’s Marcus Stoinis
Chris Jordan celebrates with Moeen Ali the dismissal of Australia’s Marcus Stoinis (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

Jofra Archer mixed up his pace cleverly in the final over of the powerplay and flattened Head’s stumps with a cutter, but Australia’s 74 for two represented a big statement.

Another half-century stand followed between Mitch Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, with the former leaning back to hit Rashid and Archer for sixes, Jonny Bairstow slow to make ground on a possible catch and Chris Jordan leaking 18 in the 13th over.

Two wickets in four balls, Marsh stumped off Liam Livingstone and Maxwell holing out off Rashid, kept England going but the runs continued to flow.

England’s sloppiness saw them penalised for a slow over-rate, losing a boundary fielder for the final over, but Jordan coped admirably in a tidy finish that also brought up his 100th T20 wicket.