Pace, with a dash of Lynn
THE new scenario for Australian white-ball success has to include 150km/h bowling bookends able to be deployed at maximum effort – and at least a 20-ball burst of Lynnsanity.
So it proved at the MCG last night, as Australia booked their spot in the Twenty20 triseries final with a seven-wicket victory over England.
The Australians remained unbeaten in this series and are now assured of a spot in the February 21 final in Auckland after having downed England by five wickets in Hobart and beating New Zealand in the series opener.
The rejuvenated Aussies have proven an irresistible force in the past eight days.
But the momentum gathered on the back of a formula of speed with the ball and brute force with the bat depends on the ongoing fitness of slingshot slugger Chris Lynn, Mitchell Starc, when the schedule allows him to play, and the best bolt of lightning to wear a green and gold uniform in 12 months – big Billy Stanlake.
Stick thin and tall as a tree, Stanlake is 204cm of manna from bowling heaven for national selectors who have seen speed machines James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile fall victim to the injury curse.
On a sultry night, Stanlake sent the radar into rarely seen areas at the MCG, breaking the England resistance before Lynn (31 off 19 balls) smashed four fours and two sixes in a seat- rattling early assault which made short work of the chase.
But first there was big Billy, who before the sun set had the ball talking and the English batsman baulking.
Three balls in a row in his first over Stanlake was through English left-hander Dawid Malan before he could get his bat down.
Stanlake’s opening over built from a base of 146km/h then topping out at 149.7, with a wicket as well, courtesy of a brilliant Aaron Finch catch.
His 2-28, and some seriously good fielding, helped the home team keep the bullocking English bats to just 7-137.
Lynn first, then D’Arcy Short (36 not out) and Glenn Maxwell ( 39 off 26) helped gobble up the mediocre target in a six-filled send-off – Australia clubbing seven to England’s one.
Beyond the blistering speed of Stanlake and the control of medium-pace marksman Andrew Tye, Australia seem to have landed on the magic recipe for short-form success.
IN THE SWING: Chris Lynn hits out during Australia’s sevenwicket win over England last night. Picture: Getty Images