Edgbaston will be rocking on June 27, 2018, when England face Australia in an IT20. And recent history suggests it will be another happy day in the Second City for England’s team on their favourite home ground.
Brian Halford reports.
After 108 years as a home for Test matches and ODIs, in 2010 Edgbaston hosted its first T20 International – and hit the ground running as an IT20 venue.
On successive days in early July, Pakistan and Australia faced each other in a brace of T20s as part of a “home” series arranged by Pakistan in England as they were unable to hold series in Pakistan. Birmingham, with its large Pakistani community, was an obvious choice of venue – and the choice was entirely vindicated as Pakistan’s supporters created a fantastic atmosphere for the two games.
It certainly lifted their team as they welcomed Edgbaston as a T20I venue on July 5, 2010, with an impressive performance to win the first game by 23 runs and then followed up with a thrilling 11-run victory.
In the first match Umar Akmal’s explosive 63, including a 21-ball half-century, the fastest yet by a Pakistan batsman in T20, lifted his side to 167 for eight before Australia were bowled out for 144, their lower order demolished by the doosras of Saeed Ajmal.
It was Pakistan’s first victory over Australia in 13 matches in all formats – and they followed it with another next day. A compelling contest saw Pakistan bat first again and this time make 162 for nine. In reply, captain Michael Clarke promoted himself to open and smashed 30 from 17 balls and then brothers David and Mike Hussey unleashed cameos which took the Aussies close, but wickets fell too frequently and they were all out for 151 in the final over.
England’s victory record is 100%
So Australia will face England at Edgbaston next June having lost two out of two IT20s at the ground. England, meanwhile, with go in with a 100 per cent record, having played two, won two – against South Africa in 2012 and India in 2014.
England played their first T20I in Birmingham on a cold, damp September evening which, despite the conditions, delivered a rousing occasion. When the game finally began at 8.12pm, England galloped to 118 for five from their 11 overs thanks to Craig Kieswetter’s 50 and then an amazing unbeaten 32, from just ten balls, by Jos Buttler. It was far too many for the South Africans to chase and, despite Hashim Amla’s 36, they fell 28 short on 90 for five.
England, meanwhile, with go in with a 100 per cent record, having played two, won two – against South Africa in 2012 and India in 2014.
Two years later, captain Eoin Morgan led the way as England defeated India in an absolute thriller by three runs. After England’s innings was launched by Alex Hales’ 25-ball 40, Morgan belted seven sixes and three fours in a 31-ball 71. A sizzling stand of 36 in 13 balls between Morgan and Ravi Bopara lifted their team to 180 for seven.
A hefty total – though while Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli were adding 79 in 53 balls for the second wicket it looked like it might not be enough. But Steve Finn took the vital wicket of Kohli and Finn (4-0-28-1), James Tredwell (4-0-28-0) and Harry Gurney (4-0-29-1) applied a skillful brake to ensure that India came in just three runs short on 177 for five.
England v Australia IT20 – 27 June 2018
So, in T20Is at Edgbaston, England’s victory record is 100% – Australia’s 0%. Will that remain the case after June 27, 2018? Tickets for this match, which will be the only IT20 played in 2018 between these two sides, are selling fast and we already have limited availability in certain areas.
To secure your tickets please call 0844 847 1902 or click here to book online. Alternatively, if you would like information and prices on our hospitality packages for this fixture, then please complete our contact form located on the right hand side of this page.