Australia win to take T20series as England endure all-time worst tour
To lose one series in Australia by a humilating margin may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness. To lose three with an aggregate score of 11-1 to the opposition looks like the most wretched of sporting implosions. An overwhelming eight-wicket victory for Australia at the MCG means they have won the Twenty20 series, leading 2-0, to follow Test and one-day, with only the deadest of rubbers in Sydney to end the tour. A Twenty20 international can often blur in the memory, disappearing down the hatch like a bite of fast food, but defeat here feels more significant England have now been overwhermed at the earliest opportunity in three successive series by a team they were previously ranked above in two of those formats. It is safe to say it now this is surely the worst England touring performance of all time. In the event they found a fresh angle on losing here, outgunned in the field by the 39-year-old Brad Hodge, a venerable warrior of the Twenty20 universe recalled by Australia 2,075 days after his last appearance, who took a brilliant catch at cover and produced a fine piece of work to run out Eoin Morgan as England's batsmen got in and then got out in a blizzard of slogging, with little effort made to assess the picth or conditions. In the middle of which England also managed the worst of both worlds, going 20 frantic overs without hitting a six. England won the toss and batted first on a delicious Melbourne evening with the MCG's cavernous stands well-filled by a basking early evening crowd. With more than 60,000 present by the end, Australia now has a new season's record for combined international attendances. It seems for Australian cricket fans some stories really do not get old, even when you already know the ending. Australia recalled-Hodge and Mitchell Starc, who bowled with pace. England replaced Danny Briggs when Luke wridht was brilliantly caught by Hodge diving forward at cover off Starc in the next over for a two ball duck, Englands innings began to subside in a rash of macho shot making, with little effort at rotating the strike on a huge MCG outfield.