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England’s T20I dominance: How Eoin Morgan’s side reached the brink of the world’s summit

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

With a four-wicket victory over South Africa on Sunday, England wrapped up yet another T20I series win. A win in the dead rubber would see them overtake Australia atop the ICC’s T20I rankings by a fraction of a point.

The last time they came away the losing side in a 20-over series was against India in the summer of 2018, when a Rohit Sharma ton sealed a 2-1 win for the visitors.

Since then, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia have all been conquered.

Here’s a quick recap of England’s unbeaten stretch of T20I domination.

Sri Lanka 0-1 England

October 2018

Joe Denly, ending his eight-year exile from international cricket, was the star man in a one-off encounter in Colombo, taking figures of 4-19 to go alongside a 17-ball 20 in a 30-run win.

West Indies 0-3 England

March 2019

This was a demolition job. While the first T20I was somewhat close – Jonny Bairstow’s 68 helped England to a four-wicket win – a couple of extraordinary scorelines followed in the next two matches. In the second T20I, Chris Jordan took 4-6 as West Indies were bowled out for 45 in a chase of 183; in the third David Willey took 4-7 as the hosts were dismissed for 71 before the batsmen sealed victory with more than nine overs to spare.

England 1-0 Pakistan

May 2019

This encounter was played in the weeks leading up to the 50-over World Cup and offered fans an early glimpse of Jofra Archer in international cricket as he made his T20I debut alongside Ben Foakes and Ben Duckett. Fifties from Babar Azam and Haris Sohail took Pakistan to 173, but Eoin Morgan led the way with a quickfire half-century of his own as England won with four balls to go.

New Zealand 2-3 England

November 2019

England offered opportunities to a number of youngsters on this trip, with Tom Banton, Matt Parkinson, Saqib Mahmood and Pat Brown all making their international debuts in the series win. Trailing 2-1 in the series, Dawid Malan hit a 48-ball century at McLean Park to help level things up before the fifth match was settled in dramatic fashion. The two sides, coming off the back of the 50-over World Cup final, were forced into another super over, with New Zealand falling short once again after Morgan and Bairstow put 17 on the board.

South Africa 1-2 England

February 2020

A nail-biting series. South Africa drew first blood as Lungi Ngidi nailed his final over to deliver a one-run win in the first T20I, but England bounced back with a two-run win in the next encounter: Tom Curran’s fine work right at the death followed a sensational 11-ball 39 from Moeen Ali. Set 223 to win in the decider, half-centuries from Jos Buttler, Bairstow and Morgan took England to victory.

England 1-1 Pakistan

August-September 2020

The only T20I series England haven’t won in the last two years. Rain ruined the first match of the series before Malan and Morgan both hit half-centuries in a successful chase of 196 in the second T20I at Old Trafford. Pakistan bounced back well in the final match of the series, with a 54 from debutant Haider Ali and unbeaten 86 from veteran Mohammad Hafeez key in delivering a five-run win despite the best efforts of Moeen (61 from 33 balls).

England 2-1 Australia

September 2020

The series began with a thriller: Australia appeared to be cruising to victory after David Warner and Aaron Finch put on 98 for the first wicket in a chase of 163. But the loss of four wickets for just nine runs derailed the chase, handing England a two-run win. A masterful 77 not out from Buttler took England to victory in the second match of the series but the opportunity to go to No.1 in the T20I rankings was missed in the third, with Australia winning by five wickets.

England 2-0 South Africa*

November 2020

*With a game to play

A full-strength England side brushed the Proteas aside in the first two T20Is: a brilliant 86 not out from Bairstow lit the spark in a chase of 180 at Newlands, before Malan’s eighth T20I half-century was the match-winning hand in a tricky chase at Boland Park.

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