Birmingham (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jos Buttler hit the fastest fifty by an England batsman in a Twenty20 international as the hosts made 221 for five against Australia at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Buttler, fresh from his man of the series heroics in a 5-0 one-day international sweep of Australia, including a match-winning 110 not out in a dramatic one-wicket victory in the series finale at Old Trafford on Sunday, was promoted to open in this one-off T20 clash.
He responded with a 22-ball fifty, including six fours and four sixes, on his way to 61.
Alex Hales made 49 after Jason Roy (44) put on 95 for the first wicket with Buttler.
England’s total was their second-highest in this format, behind the 230 for eight they made against South Africa in Mumbai two years ago.
But Australia debutant leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson (two for 37) helped prevent them compiling an even bigger score.
After Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and fielded, Roy delighted a packed and sun-drenched crowd with three fours in the first over, from fast bowler Billy Stanlake.
Buttler was soon into his stride too, launcing Swepson’s sixth ball for a soaring straight six.
Roy should have been out for 27 when he drove left-arm spinner Ashton Agar straight to long-off only for Kane Richardson to drop a simple catch.
England ran a single and the next two balls saw Buttler scoop a four and smash a six.
An ‘inside-out’ six over extra cover off fast bowler Stanlake even more audacious.
The next ball saw Buttler go to fifty with a scooped four just beyond the reach of wicket-keeper Alex Carey.
Buttler eventually became Swepson’s first international wicket when he holed out in the deep, with Roy falling next over when he skyed Stanlake to Finch at midwicket.
And when England captain Eoin Morgan (15) reverse-swept Swepson to deep point to leave his side, 132 for three, there was a danger the hosts might squander their good start.
But Hales kept the runs coming before he was brilliantly caught and bowled one-handed off Marcus Stoinis’s first ball after he flat-batted a bouncer back at the medium-pacer.