David Warner said there were "no excuses" for Australia after a remarkable collapse saw England seal a stunning victory in the first Twenty20 international in Southampton.

Australia – the world's top-ranked T20 side – looked to be cruising to victory when openers Aaron Finch (46) and Warner (58) got them off to a strong start as they bid to chase down England's meagre 162-7, a total boosted by Dawid Malan (66).

Yet a glut of wickets resulted in the tourists, playing for the first time since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, needing 15 from the last over.

Despite the efforts of Marcus Stoinis (23 not out), England held on for a two-run triumph, a result which left Warner, who insisted Australia must improve on finding the boundary during difficult spells in the middle of the innings, reeling.

"There's no excuses there. I think the guys were outplayed to be honest. Well executed by England at the end and we just couldn't get across the line," Warner told a news conference.

"When you're losing wickets, trying to get momentum out there. I pride myself on being there at the end but you can't help getting good deliveries.

"When you're chasing a run a ball, good shots get you close to that end result. It's disappointing because I think it's three or four games in a row now.

"You've got to work out the wicket as the ball gets older. They were bashing a length, it was quite inconsistent. We've played practice games on this which but we felt it was a bit different at night. You've got to assess those conditions when you're out there but we've been playing this game a long time and we should be able to do that.

"I felt we did, we just didn't hit the boundaries as much as we'd have liked through that middle period.

"We'll have a chat on what to work on for the next game, how to apply that. We're playing the next two games on this wicket but the next game is a day game, so that could be a bit drier and a little bit different."

There was one positive for Warner, at least.

"From a crowd perspective, no," Warner said when asked if the match felt like a game between England and Australia without fans in attendance.

"It was the first time I've been here and not got abuse. It was quite nice!

"But yet again, you get that up and going [from the crowd]. That's why we love playing home and away. There's home advantage and away advantage. It was a bit bizarre, but we're always up for international cricket. We're just grateful to be back playing and want to make the most of that."

Marnus Labuschagne will have to wait for his T20I debut despite displaying scintillating form in Australia's warm-up for the three-match series against England.

Labuschagne enjoyed a breakthrough series at the highest level last year in England when he starred as Australia retained the Ashes with a 2-2 draw over the course of the five-match rubber.

The 26-year-old has since become a fixture in his country's 50-over side and made a compelling case for honours in the shortest format by blasting 100 off 51 deliveries during Tuesday's intra-squad warm-up game at the Rose Bowl.

However, skipper Aaron Finch is set to remain in situ with David Warner at the top of the order, with Steve Smith settled at three, when the series opener takes place in Southampton on Friday.

"We're pretty settled with how we structure our T20 side at the moment," Finch told a pre-match news conference.

"He played nicely the other day, but I think he might have to wait a little bit longer in T20 cricket.

"He's had an opportunity to bat at the top of the order and he hits the ball in the middle of the bat more often than most other players and hits the ball in the gaps so that's a pretty good recipe for T20 cricket and all cricket.

"He played beautifully the other day for a hundred, it was a great knock."

Although elite sport behind closed doors has swiftly become the new normal in 2020, the prospect of one of sports' oldest rivalries being played out before empty stands is certainly set to jar a little.

Nevertheless, with England recalling Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Sam Curran following their exertions in the Test team, Finch expects a familiar edge to be present.

"The England-Australia rivalry is always huge, regardless of who you’re playing in front of or where you're playing," said Finch. "I think you could play it in the street and it'd still be there. It's just a great rivalry.

"The fact the stands are going to be empty will be a bit different. I think a few of our guys will appreciate it a little bit more than others, but at the same time we’ve probably spent 90 per cent of our careers playing in front of no one, from club cricket, junior cricket, even state cricket at times, so it doesn't change too much."

The last time the sides met in white-ball cricket was in last year's World Cup semi-final, when England stormed to an eight-wicket victory at a typically raucous Edgbaston.

"They blew us out of the water," Finch, who was trapped lbw by Archer for a first-ball duck, recalled.

"It was a tough day, but a different format, so we aren't holding any scars over that."

England captain Eoin Morgan expects batsman Jason Roy to be fit for the Twenty20 and ODI series against Australia next month.

It was confirmed on Thursday that Roy would miss the upcoming T20 series against Pakistan due to a side strain he sustained in practice this week.

Roy will remain with the England set-up while he recovers, and will undergo rehabilitation ahead of the Australia white-ball series, which starts on September 4 in Southampton.

Though he will be shorn of one of his big hitters at the top of the order, Morgan is confident Roy – who made only 25 runs across three ODI innings in the recent series against Ireland – will return in time to face Australia.

"Unfortunately he tweaked his side two days ago, and will be ruled out for the three games in order to give him time to prepare for both series against Australia," Morgan told a news conference.

"At the moment we don't anticipate it being anything serious but we want to give him every chance to be fit for Australia, both series - T20s and 50 overs.

"So we'll see how he progresses over the next three or four days and be able to report back then."

Despite Roy's injury, England have not yet called up an official replacement, with Morgan feeling there is enough quality cover within the squad already.

"At the moment, given that we have a lot of flexibility, particularly with our allrounders in Joe Denly and Moeen Ali, and the reserve batters in the squad, at the moment we don't feel a need to pull anybody in for tomorrow," he added.

Liam Livingstone, Tom Banton and Dawid Malan appear to be the likely candidates to battle it out to take Roy's place.

"Dawid in particular has really put together an early establishment of a career that, every time he's available, he's put himself forward as the next man, simply by weight of runs and the rate at which he scores them," Morgan said.

"[Banton] naturally is a top-order batter, but at a time where we have top-order batters in abundance and actually lack middle-order players, it's sometimes difficult to get him in in the position that is his strength.

"We know what he can achieve at the top of the order, along with a number of other guys who bat in the top five. And so hopefully if he gets a chance he can take it."

Australia ODI captain Aaron Finch hailed the consistency of India skipper Virat Kohli and said the rivalry between the two teams is just as big in limited-overs formats as it is Test cricket.

Kohli made his Test debut nine years ago and has gone on to become one of the game's greatest batsmen, as well as taking on the captaincy across all three formats.

There is little love lost on the field between Australia and India but Finch recognises Kohli's class, saying he is part of a group of players such as Steve Smith, Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar who define greatness.

"Every player, regardless of who it is, has a bad series. But very, very rarely do you see Kohli, Smith, even going back Ponting, Sachin, these guys they don't have two bad series in a row," Finch said on the Sony Ten Pit Stop show.

"The pressure of playing for India is one thing but also leading India is another and the way he has done it, so consistently for a long time.

"And taking over from [MS] Dhoni, the leadership, that is huge. The expectations were high and he kept delivering and I think that that is the most impressive thing.

"What has been so impressive for so long is just his consistency across three formats. To be the best player of all-time in ODI cricket is one thing. But then to also be in Test cricket and T20 cricket as a rounded player, that is remarkable."

Australia are scheduled to go head-to-head with India for three T20 matches in October, before beginning a four-Test series in December and rounding out with three ODIs in January next year.

The uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic means no fixtures are particularly set in stone right now, but Finch says the rivalry between Australia and India is hot regardless of the format.

"India and Australia are two very successful teams, two countries that are very passionate about cricket as well. So, it's hard to compare the rivalry [in Tests and ODIs]," Finch told reporters on virtual news conference.

"One is the traditional game of Test cricket and the grind of five days, that mental battle day in day out while one-day cricket is more skill-based obviously, just on that day. If a couple of guys have a great day on the field, it goes a long way in winning the match.

"That said, it's not a case of being less important or being taken lightly because it's ODI or T20 cricket."

The global health pandemic has seen Australia's home ODI series with Zimbabwe, which was scheduled for August, postponed indefinitely.

As things stand, T20 clashes with the West Indies and India in October that precede the T20 World Cup – which could still be rearranged – will be the next assignments for Australia.

But there remains the possibility of limited-overs matches being organised to take place in England, something Finch is preparing for.

"It's a little bit up in the air, just with how quickly everything is changing. In Victoria [where restrictions have been tightened] we are going the other way again," he said.

"We're not exactly sure when our next game is going to be. In our mind we were planning for Zimbabwe, we were planning for England, and all going well, I think that was our next game, that's what we are planning for.

"I am preparing to go to England and play, whether that happens we will wait and see.

"We just have to be really conscious of being ultra flexible. There might be a tour comes up at relatively short notice because we can get there, and that would be brilliant.

"Whatever it takes. The players are all in the same boat. Whatever we have to do to get a game up and going, that is in the best interest of world cricket, we’d be up for that."

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are awaiting confirmation that India and Bangladesh will agree to tour for limited-overs series' in July.

SLC invited India to fly out for three ODIs and as many Twenty20 Internationals, while the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are also considering the opportunity to tour for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic brought the vast majority of sport to a halt.

Ashley de Silva, the SLC chief executive, revealed there has been no official word from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) or the BCB over whether they will take up the offers.

"We have made inquiries from both the India and Bangladesh boards and are awaiting a response from them," he told ESPNcricinfo.

"As of now, those series haven't been postponed."

The BCCI on Sunday stated that contracted players would not be rushed back into training camps after the government gave the go-ahead for sports facilities to reopen.

A BCCI statement said: "The Board of Control for Cricket in India has taken note of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday for containment of COVID-19 across the country. 

"Taking into the account the restrictions on air travel and movement of people till May 31, the BCCI will wait further before organizing a skill-based training camp for its contracted players.

"The Board reiterates that the safety and well-being of its athletes and support staff is paramount and will not rush into any decision that can hamper or jeopardize India's efforts in containing the spread of the virus."

There have been just 981 COVID-19 cases reported in Sri Lanka, nine of those people passing away.

England limited overs captain Eoin Morgan believes international cricket taking place behind closed doors during the English summer could be good for the nation's morale.

Morgan and his team-mates are, like most other elite athletes around the globe, in a state of flux at present as the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic have the knock-on effect of bringing sporting schedules to a halt.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has postponed the start of its domestic season until May 28 and on Tuesday announced a £61million relief package to help the game withstand the financial impact of coronavirus.

England have Test series planned against West Indies and Pakistan over the coming months, with the latter joining Australia in facing Morgan's side in white-ball series.

Morgan joked that playing before empty stands would not be much different to some of his experiences in the County Championship, but he feels televised sport could provide a rallying point for the general public.

"I've played county cricket for a long time and I've played Test cricket in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It’s the exact same, I would say," said the 33-year-old, who also underlined his intention to skipper England at the next two T20 World Cups, even if this year's edition in Australia is postponed.

"From a very serious point of view, if medical experts came and advised us that it was okay to play behind closed doors and it was on TV, I think that would be a huge step forward for the game.

"Sport, I think, could play a huge role in uplifting the world and people's perspective on things.

"Isolation encourages idle minds and I think sport can create that theatre and level of expectation around what it's like to be outside again and be active.

"If it came to it, I think it'd be a huge step forward."

Asked whether such events would be good for morale in the country, he replied: "Yes, I think it would."

An enforced lay-off has been usefully timed in one respect for Morgan, whose wife gave birth to the couple's first child, Leo, three weeks ago.

"We've sort of been preoccupied with looking after the baby," he said. "We've been isolated for a bit longer than everyone else.

"I've been bunkered away for a while and haven't been under pressure to go off and play cricket, which is really nice.

"In between that reading some books, watching some TV shows. Sleep, but in very short periods."

Kevin O'Brien hit a match-winning six as Ireland defeated Afghanistan in a dramatic super over to avoid a Twenty20 series whitewash.

With all three matches being played in Greater Noida, India, the series outcome was already decided after the opening two contests were won by Afghanistan, but that did not prevent a thrilling finale.

Ireland posted 142-8 after winning the toss and electing to bat, Afghanistan debutant Qais Ahmad and Naveen-ul-Haq combining for six wickets as Gareth Delany top-scored with 37.

In response, an innings of 42 from opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz set up an intriguing run chase which left his side needing 16 off the final over.

It looked like it was all over for Afghanistan when captain Asghar Afghan (32) was dismissed with three balls left and 13 runs still needed. 

But Rashid Khan, helped by two wides from bowler Josh Little, hit a four off the last delivery to thrillingly force a super over as they ended on 142-7.

Craig Young then superbly restricted Afghanistan to only eight and although Ireland initially stumbled, leaving them needing three off the final ball, man-of-the-match O'Brien cleared the ropes.

Faf du Plessis has returned to South Africa's squad for the upcoming Twenty20 International series with Australia on the day he stepped down as captain.

Du Plessis announced earlier on Monday that he has taken a step back, relinquishing his responsibilities as Test and T20 captain, with Quinton de Kock, who last month took over the ODI job, poised to take over across all formats.

The 35-year-old was rested for the recent 2-1 T20 series defeat to England, as were Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.

All three return to the fold in a 16-man group to face Australia in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town on February 21, 23 and 26.

Reeza Hendricks, Beuran Hendricks and Sisanda Magala drop out of the squad.

De Kock captains the side as he did in Du Plessis' absence against England, with the upcoming series key preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

Independent selector Linda Zondi specifically hailed Du Plessis' experience following his return after the batsman expressed his determination to continue as a player for the Proteas.

He said: "As a selection panel, we are happy with the team that we have finalised for the Australia tour.

"We are confident that the return of Kagiso and Anrich will provide the boost that the bowling unit needs in order to return to its dangerous ways.

"The experience of Faf will add an extra dimension to the batting unit's already fledgling prowess."

AB de Villiers is not involved in this squad, although coach Mark Boucher has confirmed the explosive batsman is likely to be selected for the World Cup as long as he is in form and makes himself available.

Temba Bavuma is picked for the squad, but his involvement is dependent on the results of a scan on a hamstring injury he sustained against England.

Following the T20 series, South Africa will also play three ODIs against Australia.
 

South Africa T20 squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Bjorn Fortuin, Anrich Nortje, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen.

Faf du Plessis has stepped down as the Test and Twenty20 captain of South Africa.

The 35-year-old was replaced by Quinton de Kock as ODI captain in January and, with immediate effect, no longer leads the Proteas in any form of the game.

Du Plessis wants to continue contributing as a batsman and senior player and will advise the new leadership group as of the team's succession planning, Cricket South Africa said in a statement on Monday.

England captain Eoin Morgan believes the team's one-run defeat to South Africa was a "great game to play in" ahead of the T20 World Cup.

South Africa handed England an agonising loss at Buffalo Park, where the Proteas prevailed in an astonishing finish in the first T20 international on Wednesday.

England – chasing 178 – needed seven runs from seven balls but the tourists fell short as Morgan holed out to long on before a stunning final over from Lungi Ngidi (3-30) saw him remove Tom Curran and Moeen Ali.

Adil Rashid required three from the last delivery for victory but he could only manage one as Dale Steyn and captain Quinton de Kock combined for a runout.

Despite the loss, Morgan was upbeat with the T20 World Cup on the horizon – the 20-over tournament scheduled to get underway in October.

"I definitely think we could've [found an extra run or two], I thought particularly during the chase we were in a very commanding position," Morgan, who scored 52 runs, told Sky Sports.

"We never through a cluster of losing wickets, Jason [Roy] and myself established a partnership quite well with the new guys coming in and with the short boundary one side, we never really looked flustered - probably until Ngidi came on in the 18th and probably the last over that he bowled turned the came on its head.

"Even in a position needing seven off the last over with new guys coming in, we'd have expected to win that game.

"It's a great game to play in because you get a feeling of where guys are at, they're put under pressure, you get to see what skill-level they produce, how their temperament is. So in terms of actually improving in that position, I think it is great for us."

Ngidi dazzled in the first of three T20's in East London and the South Africa paceman does not plan on relinquishing his spot in the team.

"We know that there are a lot of fast bowlers fighting for a spot so you've got to be on your A game," he said afterwards, with the Proteas able to call upon Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada and Sisanda Magala.

"If you're not quite there, someone else is going to come in and do the job you're supposed to be doing. I don't plan on letting anyone take my spot so I am just going to keep playing as best as I can."

South Africa defeated England by one run after an astonishing finish to the first T20 international at Buffalo Park.

Chasing 178, England looked poised for victory after Jason Roy scored a rapid 70 and captain Eoin Morgan added a vital 52 that included some clutch late boundaries.

The tourists only needed seven from the last seven balls but Morgan holed out to long on to set up a tense finale before a tremendous last over from Lungi Ngidi (3-30) saw him remove Tom Curran and Moeen Ali.

Adil Rashid was left needing three from the final delivery for victory or two to force a super over, but he could only manage one as the returning Dale Steyn and captain Quinton de Kock combined for a runout that sparked joyous scenes in East London.

Earlier, South Africa were well set for a huge total before England recovered to limit them to 177-8.

Roy's superb innings – which saw him become the country's first player to score three consecutive T20I fifties - took just 38 balls with seven fours and three sixes as Morgan's men made a strong start to their reply.

Morgan appeared ready to put the finishing touches on a strong run chase but a dramatic conclusion meant it was South Africa who took a 1-0 lead in the three-match rubber, with their opponents finishing agonisingly short on 176-8.

England are now in danger of losing their first T20I series since July 2018 and this morale-denting defeat was an unwelcome start to a year that builds towards the T20 World Cup in October.

David Warner says he is most likely to retire from Twenty20 internationals over the coming years in order to prolong his Test and ODI careers with Australia.

The batsman, who this week won his third Allan Border Medal, is eager to play the upcoming T20 World Cup tournaments in 2020 and 2021, though he is pondering stepping down from the shortest form of the game after that.

Warner was also named Australia's Twenty20 player of the year at Monday's awards ceremony.

But the 33-year-old did not play the most recent edition of the Big Bash League and the international T20s could be the next to go.

"I don't have a BBL team; I took a break during this period, and that was about my body and my mind, making sure I'm getting ready for the next series that comes up," said Warner.  

"If you look at T20 internationals, we've got back-to-back World Cups as well, that's probably a format that could be one I'd probably drop in a few years.

"I have to look at the schedule; it's going to be very difficult [for me] to play all three forms, and good luck to all the guys who want to keep playing that. 

"You talk to guys like AB de Villiers and Virender Sehwag, these guys who've done it for a long time, it does become challenging. 

"Having three young kids and my wife at home all the time, the constant travelling becomes very difficult. 

"If it was to come down to [leaving out] one format, it would probably be the international T20s."

The BBL has increased in size every year and is now a mammoth 61-match event, though Warner insisted that is not the only factor at play in his decision to step aside.

Warner added: "For me it's about working out timeframes with different series, identify when you need a bit of a rest.

"Generally, we play a Test series and go into a one-day series. We went to India and then generally you have a one-day series at home, back-to-back games and then you go away. 

"So, it was a bit different this year; I was able to have that opportunity to have that break which I'm grateful for.

"A lot of the guys try to go back and play as much as they can. Sometimes, you look at the [BBL] finals as an example, they come back and play the final.

"You're taking someone's spot as well, which is always tough as a player, you don't want to come back and just take someone's spot for one game."

David Warner showed his emotion and expressed gratitude for being allowed back into the Australia set-up as he accepted his third Allan Border Medal.

Having been reintegrated to the team after his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018 resulted in a one-year ban, Warner edged out Steve Smith by one vote to win the country's top individual prize.

He expressed his thanks to team-mates, coaches and Cricket Australia after beating Smith and last year's winner Pat Cummins to the accolade.

Warner also fought back the tears as he thanked his parents and wife Candice, who he described as his "rock and inspiration".

"I'm taken aback by this," said Warner. "It has been quite challenging. I want to thank Cricket Australia, Belinda Clark, Kevin Roberts and Justin Langer for that opportunity [to come back].

"You were really working your backsides off behind the scenes to reintegrate the three of us [Warner, Smith and Cameron Bancroft] into the cricketing family.

"Everything to get us back in there amongst the guys, taking us to Dubai, starting that way, was absolutely fantastic and the way [ODI captain] Aaron Finch and [Test captain] Tim Paine accepted us and were always in contact with us, we really appreciate that. 

"I want to thank my home club team at Randwick-Petersham for giving me that opportunity to go out there and play grade cricket. 

"I realised a lot of things during that time off that we don't actually understand or realise when we're in this bubble, the importance of what this game is and the smiles on the faces that we bring to a lot of people.

"Sitting back and reflecting upon the time I had away from the game, you don't realise the importance and effect it has on everyone. It put things in perspective.

"Getting cricket taken away from you, something you've always dreamed of, it really hurt, so I'm just extremely grateful to be accepted back by Cricket Australia, the peers and also by the fans. 

"I had mixed emotions about how I was going to be received back here at home - I definitely knew what I was in for in England and obviously in a couple of weeks' time [in South Africa]. But it's just been remarkable to come back.

"Standing here I'm just really proud to have that opportunity again." 

Warner struggled in the Ashes but otherwise enjoyed a superb year across all formats.

But he thought his woes against England would have cost him a shot at the Allan Border Medal, which only Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting have won on more occasions.

"It was a shock and a surprise," he said. "When it is that close, you really don't know so it's a big surprise to be honest.

"I had an absolutely horrendous Ashes and generally, across the Test matches, that's where a lot of the votes are polled, so I didn't think I had a chance.

"I really had the hunger and determination to come back and do the best for our team. We've been great across all three formats for 12 months, I couldn't be any prouder to stand here and receive the award."

David Warner has won the Allan Border Medal for the third time after edging out team-mate Steve Smith by the narrowest of margins.

Australia opener Warner polled 194 votes, one more than Smith, while last year's winner Pat Cummins was also close behind with 185.

Marnus Labuschagne won the award for Men's Test Player of the Year, with Smith again coming a close second, while Aaron Finch claimed the ODI honour for the first time and Warner made it a double by landing the T20I gong.

Warner previously won the Allan Border Medal in 2016 and 2017, with four-time winners Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke the only players to have won the accolade, considered the most prestigious individual prize in Australian men's cricket, on more occasions.

The 33-year-old impressed across all formats during last season, scoring three centuries at the Cricket World Cup at an average of 71.88.

Warner struggled as Australia retained the Ashes in England but rebounded with superb home Test performances against Pakistan, versus whom he scored 335 not out in Adelaide, and then New Zealand.

The batsman's T20 form was spectacular, as he averaged 147.61 in three clashes with Sri Lanka and 140 in another trio of matches against Pakistan, helping him to see off 2019 winner Glenn Maxwell in the voting for the T20 honour in addition to the Allan Border Medal.

Warner and Smith both impressed as they returned from one-year suspensions in 2019 after their involvement in the ball-tampering affair the previous year.

The Australian Cricket Awards are voted for by players, the media and umpires after each Australia game.

Fast bowler Wes Agar was named The Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, while in the women's game The Belinda Clark Award went to Ellyse Perry, who like Warner is a three-time winner of the top prize available.

Rain wreaked havoc as the second Twenty20 international between West Indies and Ireland was washed out in Basseterre on Saturday.

No result was declared after the game was called off approaching 22:00 local time – Ireland boasting a 1-0 lead in the three-game series.

Career-best figures from captain Kieron Pollard helped restrict Ireland to 147-9 from 19 overs, with a rain delay leading to a reduction in overs.

Confidence was high in the Ireland camp after their memorable four-run triumph in the opening T20I in Grenada.

But Pollard claimed 4-25 from four overs – the 10th best performance for the Windies in T20I history, dismissing Gareth Delany (44), skipper Andy Balbirnie (36), Gary Wilson (5) and George Dockrell (2).

Sheldon Cottrell (2-10) and Romario Shepherd (1-38) also chopped in with wickets for the Windies.

West Indies managed to start their run chase and they reached 16-1 after Lendl Simmons (10) fell victim to Paul Stirling (1-11) before the rain set in for good.

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