England win thriller to set Twenty20 record

Debutant Chris Woakes guided England to a record 8th successive Twenty20 win as England inflicted more torture on Australia with a final ball one-wicket victory at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.

Even with all-rounder Shane Watson's best efforts to single-handedly lift the home side to victory, 21-year-old Woakes (19 not out) was the hero as he hit the winning run from the final ball of the England innings.

After Australia posted 157-4, with Watson top-scoring with 59 from 31 balls, England wobbled in the chase as Watson picked up four wickets, but Woakes' cool head enabled them to reach 158-9 and snatch the win.

England previously shared the record for most successive Twenty20 international wins with South Africa and Pakistan and the result follows hard on the heels of their historic 3-1 Ashes triumph over the embattled Australians.

England skipper Paul Collingwood heralded the new record.

"Eight wins in this form of the game is very special," he said. "It was a great game of cricket, it had everything. I thought we probably should have seen it through a little bit easier, but Twenty20 cricket can get a little bit like that towards the end."

Watson took little solace from his own form and said the Australians should have posted a higher total.

With wickets falling at the other end, Woakes kept his cool when he found himself on strike with his side needing three runs from the last two balls from Watson with only one wicket in hand.

He slashed the next delivery to the cover boundary for two, then drove Watson through the infield for what would have been a boundary had he and number 11 Ajmal Shahzad not completed the winning run first.

Woakes' innings came after Eoin Morgan put England on the path to victory with 43, but the match turned when the left-hander holed out to Watson, who then removed Michael Yardy with the next ball to be on a hat-trick. Watson could scarcely have done more for the home side, with 4-15 from his four overs after his solo effort with the bat.

Big surprise that no one picked Ganguly: Wasim Akram

The snub to Sourav Ganguly in the IPL players’ auction 2011 shocked his former team KKR bowling coach Wasim Akram, who said he expected any of the other franchises to pick the former India skipper for his "experience and leadership qualities".

In a major discomfiture for Ganguly, he was not picked by his home team Kolkata Knight Riders or any of the other franchises after two rounds of bidding last week.

"Sourav is a dear friend of mine. I thought he would be picked up by some franchise for his experience and leadership qualities. But it was a big surprise when he was totally ignored," Akram told 'Mobile ESPN' from Karachi, hinting that KKR never had plans to hire the Prince of Kolkata.

If the ignore to Ganguly shocked Akram, the former Pakistan captain was more shocked when there were no takers for dashing West Indian batsman Chris Gayle.

"I just can't believe it. Gayle is a game-changer but probably never fit the scheme of things for many teams. Maybe, teams think that Gayle does not help youngsters in the side," said Akram.

India beat South Africa by 21 runs

An injury-hit India produced all-round performance to slash up an emphatic 21-run triumph over South Africa in the only twenty20 international.

Playing without regular openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, India ride on a brilliant half-century by Rohit Sharma (53 off 34 balls) and Suresh Raina's racy 23-ball 41 to post a competitive 168 for six after captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat.

The visitors then returned to contain South Africa to 147 for nine in the stipulated 20 overs to complete the victory at the Moses Mabhida Stadium here.

Ashish Nehra and Yusuf Pathan chimed in with two wickets each to contribute to the cause.

For South Africa, opener Morne van Wyk blasted a whrilwind 39-ball 67 comprising five fours and as many sixes but he didn't get support from the other end as the hosts fell short by 21 runs in the end.

van Wyk then sent one Ashwin delivery flying over the deep midwicket for a six to complete his half-century in just 24 balls, registering the fastest fifty by a South African in twenty20 cricket.

India and South Africa will next play the five-match ODI series starting here on Wednesday.

Michael Clarke retires from international Twenty20 Cricket

Michael Clarke announced his retirement from T20 international in the fallout from Australia's Ashes humiliation against England on Friday.

Clarke, standing in for injured captain Ricky Ponting, presided over an Australian team thrashed by an innings and 83 runs in the fifth Sydney Test and made the announcement during his post-match press conference.

Cameron White was later named skipper of Australia's side for their two T20 games against England next week, with wicketkeeper Tim Paine his vice-captain.

It was a personal series failure by one of Australia's senior Test batsmen, scoring just 193 runs at 21.44 in nine innings against the dominant English bowling attack.

"I'm retiring from international T20 cricket," Clarke said.

"I guess, looking back on this series, my Test cricket isn't where I want it at the moment.

"This gives me the opportunity to focus wholly and solely on Test cricket and one-day internationals and to use that time to play more domestic or first-class cricket for New South Wales and become a better Test player.

"For me, I've always said Test cricket is the ultimate for me. This gives me that opportunity."

Clarke admitted that even as captain he has struggled in the T20 format of the game, scoring just 419 runs in 23 innings at 22.05.