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T20 World Cup

Curran sets sights on deflated Australia at World Cup



Photo: courtesy

|| AFP ||

Sam Curran on Saturday became the first Englishman to bag a five-wicket haul in a T20 international -- and then put holders Australia in his crosshairs at the World Cup.

The left-arm quick returned figures of 5-10 to set up a convincing five-wicket win for England in their opening match against Afghanistan in Perth.

Earlier, in Sydney, hosts Australia began their title defence with a big loss to New Zealand.

England face Ireland next but it's their mouthwatering clash against old rivals Australia on Friday at Melbourne Cricket Ground which Curran is already thinking about.

"We've seen the way they (Ireland) played in the qualifiers, they're obviously a very dangerous team with some match-winners in there as well," the 24-year-old told reporters.

"But like you said, there's no hiding that Friday is going to be a pretty epic game against Australia, at the MCG, which I'm sure will be an incredible experience for all of us.

"And hopefully we can go into that game having won on Wednesday. 

"And like you said, if we win (on Friday) that will obviously be great for us and I guess might put the Aussies in a tricky position."

Curran stood out among the England bowlers to send Afghanistan packing for 112 before their batsmen achieved the target in 18.1 overs.

Curran, who returned from a back injury in the summer, said the break had done him good.

"Maybe over the break I just got a little bit stronger. After the break I came back refreshed, eager, ready and a lot of energy," he said.

"It's my first World Cup game and the energy when I woke up, to know that you're going to be playing in a World Cup, gives you that extra bit of buzz having missed the last one."

Curran picked four of his five wickets in the last six balls and was on a hat-trick before he wrapped up the Afghanistan innings.

He is relishing the challenge of bowling in the death.

"Any time you're taking on those tough situations, that's when you want to be involved," he said.

"I'm just trying to be as adaptable as possible with giving the bowling group loads of different options.

"Hopefully I can keep taking confidence and all the other bowlers around me can take confidence from that performance."