Willey stars with bat and ball as England cruise to victory

England 139 for 2 (Willey 79) beat Prime Minister’s XI 136 for 8 (Handscomb 43, Dawson 3-16, Willey 3-32) by eight wickets

David Willey stated his case to bat higher up the order in England’s T20 side by hammering 79 from 36 balls – which included taking 34 runs off an over from Nathan Lyon – as the tourists cruised home in their tri-series warm-up match in Canberra.

Having taken three wickets with the ball, Willey opened the batting in the absence of Jason Roy and Alex Hales. From the final over of the Powerplay, he took on Lyon – one of England’s chief tormentors during the Ashes – and struck the first five deliveries for six before narrowly missing out on completing the full set.

A regular opener in white-ball cricket at county level, Willey has had limited opportunities with the bat for England, having made top scores of 26 in ODIs and 21 in T20.

Willey and James Vince put on 87 for the first wicket and England were only 10 runs from victory when Willey became Mitchell Swepson’s second wicket, as a target of 137 was quickly chased down

The Prime Minister’s XI, which tallied 239 caps among the players selected, had been restricted during their 20 overs, with Peter Handscomb the only batsman to cut loose during an innings of 43 from 29. Willey removed both openers, Peter Nevill and Nic Maddinson, in his second over, before Liam Dawson chipped in with three middle-order wickets during a parsimonious spell.

England included both Tom and Sam Curran in an XI for the first time, the brothers delivering a combined five overs for 38. Roy was left out after experiencing a stiff back, while England were already without Hales (hand injury), Liam Plunkett and Chris Jordan (both hamstring), ahead of their tri-series opener in Hobart on Wednesday.

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