x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

England hero Chris Woakes surprises himself

The bowler Chris Woakes scores crucial runs on England debut against Australia in Adelaide and helps his country to record eighth successive T20 win.

Chris Woakes hits a four on his way to a vital unbeaten 19 that helped England to beat Australia in a dramatic last-ball finish. David Gray / Reuters
Chris Woakes hits a four on his way to a vital unbeaten 19 that helped England to beat Australia in a dramatic last-ball finish. David Gray / Reuters

Chris Woakes admitted he was not expecting to be thrown into the role of England's hero following their dramatic Twenty20 win over Australia in Adelaide yesterday.

The Warwickshire bowler, on his international debut, was promoted from No 11 to No 9 and hit an unbeaten 19 to see England through to a one-wicket win - a world record eighth consecutive international T20 victory.

"I'm delighted to make my debut for England and it's good to keep the momentum going that the boys have started over the last two months," the 21-year-old told Sky Sports 1.

"At first I was No 11 on the sheet and didn't expect to come in but I got my promotion. I don't think the result was ever in doubt to be honest."

Having been set 158 to win, England suffered a late collapse after a fluent 43 from Eoin Morgan had put them on course, and Paul Collingwood, the England one-day captain, admitted he would have liked to have won in easier circumstances.

He said: "We dragged it back and I thought that it was a gettable total. I thought we should have done it a little bit easier, but that's the way Twenty 20 goes."

On Woakes, he added: "Andy Flower [the England coach] said he looked fantastic in the nets, we bat all the way down and that's the beauty of having bowlers that can bat.

"He was sensational and showed a cool head on a young pair of shoulders. It was a fantastic debut, he bowled with skill and got us off to a good start."

The world champions have now won a record eight T20 games in a row, and Collingwood added: "We've won eight on the trot now. We still need to go back saying 'we need to take more responsibility', but I thought our intent was superb.

"To go from Test cricket to Twenty20 is a huge jump. I'm sure the guys will learn a lot from tonight and hopefully we can get one of the batters to go through next time."

He added: "It was a great game. I thought it had everything.

"I'm delighted with the record as well, it's a huge achievement for the team."

Cameron White, Australia's new T20 captain, said: "Obviously we got the wrong result, but we were really close, not far away.

"We weren't quite at our best, there are a few things to work on and hopefully in Melbourne we can get them right."

White added: "We still got ourselves in a winning position at times and then just bowled a bad ball, or England played a really good shot. It was close, but not good enough."

Shane Watson was Australia's key man with bat and ball, hitting 59 before taking four for 15, and said on Sky Sports 1: "It's nice to be able to contribute the way I did but really it doesn't matter how you perform individually, the most important thing is the team and unfortunately we weren't able to get over the line."

White said of the all-rounder: "[It was] a class act, wasn't it? He just showed his all-round ability and what a good cricketer he is.

"He's destructive with the bat and his execution with the ball was exactly what the team and myself was asking for. It was a very classy display, I thought."

Scorecard

Australia
Warner      c Shahzad b Yardy    30
Watson        b Yardy    59
Hussey        b Bresnan    28
White           c Pietersen b Woakes    6
Finch        not out    15
Smith        not out    15
Extras    2w, 1b, 1lb    4
Total (4wkts, 20 overs)    157
Fall of wickets: 1-83; 2-92; 3-115; 4-133
Bowling: Woakes 4-0-34-1; Shahzad 4-0-25-0; Bresnan 4-0-28-1; Yardy 4-0-28-2; Swann 4-0-40-0

England
Bell    c Smith    b Johnson    27
Davies    c White    b Lee    4
Pietersen    c Hussey    b O’Keefe    25
Collingwood c Paine     b Hussey    16
Morgan    c Hussey    b Watson    43
Wright    lbw    b Tait    0
Bresnan    c Lee    b Watson    11
Yardy    c Paine    b Watson    0
Woakes        not out    19
Swann        b Watson    6
Shahzad        not out    0
Extras    2w, 5lb       7
Total (9wkts, 20 overs)    158
Fall of wickets: 1-16; 2-49; 3-63; 4-99; 5-104; 6-130; 7-130; 8-141; 9-154
Bowling: Tait 4-0-40-1; Lee 4-0-41-1; Johnson 4-0-27-1; O’Keefe 2-0-16-1; Watson 4-0-15-4; Hussey 2-0-14-1;

England won by one wicket with 0 balls remaining.