Richardson and Maxwell star as Australia hold England to 162-7 in 1st T20

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP)

Kane Richardson and Glenn Maxwell took two cheap wickets apiece as Australia held England to 162-7 in the first Twenty20 international at Southampton on Friday.

Australia, in their first international match since March because of the coronavirus, were in danger of conceding a large total while recalled England opener Jos Buttler was making 44.

But Dawid Malan's 66 -- the left-hander's eighth score of fifty or more in just 14 T20 international innings -- was the only other contribution of note.

Paceman Richardson took 2-13 from three overs and occasional spinner Maxwell 2-14 from his three overs.

Buttler, one of several 50-over World Cup winnners recalled to the England side following their drawn T20 series against Pakistan, took 16 off the second over from Ashton Agar, lofting the left-arm spinner for two straight sixes either side of pulling him for four.

But Agar had his revenge when Buttler pulled him straight to Pat Cummins at deep midwicket to end a 29-ball innings.

His exit sparked a mini-collapse that saw England, second in the T20 rankings behind Australia, lose three wickets for 27 runs.

Agar had Tom Banton well caught by Aaron Finch -- who had won the toss -- as the Australia captain ran back from cover to take the ball over his shoulder.

Australia then removed dangerman Eoin Morgan for just five when the England captain skyed Maxwell and Steve Smith, running round from long-on, held a good catch on a gloomy evening illuminated by the Ageas Bowl floodlights.

Maxwell struck again when Moeen Ali, fresh from his 61 in England's five-run defeat by Pakistan in the third T20 in Manchester on Tuesday, fell for just two when he top-edged a reverse-sweep to short third man.

Malan, who pulled Agar for six, completed a 37-ball fifty before he holed out off Richardson in the first of a three-match series.