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England Teams Defeat Australia In International Inclusion Series

England’s two-pronged Ashes attack got off to a dream start in the International Commonwealth Bank Series, with a clean sweep in three T20s for the Learning Disability and Deaf XIs in Brisbane.

The LD lads will be particularly pleased with their day’s work on a sluggish, tacky surface that offered plenty to keep the bowlers interested.

Chris Edwards’ LD charges won back-to-back encounters by impressive margins of 27 runs and seven wickets, while the Deaf XI – captained for the first time by George Greenway – held their nerve to chase 92 with five wickets and two overs to spare.

It was a day full of positives. England excelled in all three disciplines across both teams and looked fresh and particularly sharp in the field. It was certainly an occasion to remember for Jack Perry.

The LD opener posted his first international half-century in his side’s second game to help anchor a chase of 121, with support from the excellent Dan Bowser, who finished unbeaten on 39 (following 40 first up).

Perry’s 60 from 34 balls – top score of the day – was doubly sweet, given his recent return to fitness following a blood clot at the start of the year – and the fact that he began his day’s work with a duck, chopping on to his stumps.

“It was nice to make up for that,” he said. “We probably had the better of the conditions chasing second time around – it was coming on pretty nicely by the end, though the occasional one stayed a bit low.”

England LD’s 116-6 first up in the opening match was significantly boosted by some lusty blows in Tayler Young’s 14-ball 29, which included 18 off the final over. Miserly opening bowling from Kieron McKinney (1-4) and Alex Jervis set the tone as the hosts found the going tough.

Aussie opener Joel Corbett – dismissed for 43 in both games – was the key wicket, and once he fell to Young at 66-5, Australia subsided to 89 all out. Four runouts were indicative of England’s squeeze with the ball.

With the confidence of victory first up, Perry and company eased to a second win at the beginning of the 18th over, restricting Australia to 121-7 (Martin Henderson impressing with 3-18).

On the other pitch, some miserly bowling from the Deaf attack on a taxing surface made it impossible for Australia to accelerate. Stephen George (2-16) was arguably the pick of a fine all-round display as the hosts struggled to 91-6.

Though Josh Price went early, an aggressive cameo from Greenway (12) got England moving, and steady hands from the veteran Mike O’Mahony (21 off 32) and Stephen George (15 from 24) kept the scoreboard ticking over. It was left to Joel Harris and Henry Wainman to see England home, a result that thrilled Greenway.

“It wasn’t easy to play on that wicket, so I’m delighted,” he said. “We did a lot of work in the training camps on line and length, bowling stump to stump and we executed that perfectly today.

I’m very proud of all the boys – and it was great to see experienced lads like Stephen and Mike helping the younger ones out by keeping that run rate down.”

The next action from Brisbane is on Friday at midnight – with a T20 double header for both sides. The Deaf XI play at midnight and 4.30am BST) and the LD XI at midnight and 9 am.

Scorecards

Image: Chris Edwards (left) and George Greenway captains of England LD and Deaf sides pose for portraits ahead of the 2022 International Inclusion Series in Brisbane (Getty Images)