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England’s miserable tour down under comes to an end after an emphatic 84-run victory by Australia during Sunday night's Twenty20 international.
After 101 days, 12 defeats and enough drama to keep the scriptwriters of a soapie happy, England signed off on their sorry tour on an appropriate downer, crashing to a 84-run defeat at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night.
The loss came as Arthur, commentating on the BBC, said he had not ruled out applying for the England coaching job, which was vacated on the weekend by the resignation of Andy Flower.
The English were due to fly out of Australia on Monday morning but not before adding a few more blunders to an extensive lowlights reel. It now seems incongruous that England began the summer overwhelming Ashes favourites so disastrous has been their tour.
Already, careers have been ended (Graeme Swann), ruined (Jonathan Trott) and tarred (Flower) and more heads could roll with question marks hovering above Alastair Cook's future as captain and the careers of Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior.
Sunday night's Twenty20 international again highlighted the chasm between the two sides.
If there was a play that summed up England's incompetence then it came when Jos Buttler had an air swing while trying to whip off the bails with the final ball of Australia's innings, though Alex Hales's miss off Aaron Finch, compounded by sending the ball over the rope, was also comical.
No England player, however, would have felt worse than Jade Dernbach, who conceded 26 runs in the final over to George Bailey for embarrassing series figures of 1-141 from 12 overs – the most runs conceded in a bilateral Twenty20 international series.
That Dernbach was given the final over to bowl was more evidence England's brains trust were showing more trust than brain. The same hierarchy had also deemed it wise to not play a frontline spinner on one of the slowest decks in the country. It may not have made a difference for England as Australia, whose total of 195 was 30 more than the previous best this season at the venue by a team batting first, batted with poise and chose the right moments to unleash their heavy artillery.
Cameron White was again the rock of Australia's innings, continuing his hot form since his international recall by hitting 41 off 37 balls as opener. Although White will face hot competition to remain there once Shane Watson and David Warner are available for the World Twenty20, it would be extremely stiff for the Victorian to miss out on Australia's final squad for the tournament.
White shared stands of 48 with Finch, who made 30 off 21 balls, and 53 with Ben Cutting, whose shock move up the order as pinch-hitter bore fruit with 29 off 16 balls. The coup de grace was applied by Bailey, who feasted on Dernbach to top-score for Australia with a whirlwind 49 off only 20 deliveries.
England's slim hopes of overhauling the target were cruelled by the departures of Luke Wright and Hales by the end of the fourth over after falling within five balls of each other to Mitchell Starc and Nathan Coulter-Nile respectively. The only resistance came from Eoin Morgan, who made 34 but received almost no help from his teammates.