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21 off the last over? Maxwell does it again as blistering ton catapults Australia to victory in final-ball thriller

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28th November, 2023
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Glenn Maxwell’s superb hundred has single-handedly catapulted Australia to a miraculous last-ball win over India by five wickets in the third Twenty20 at Guwahati.

Australia were behind the pace throughout their pursuit of India’s imposing 3-222 at Barsapara Cricket Stadium on Tuesday (Wednesday morning AEDT) before coming from the clouds thanks to Maxwell (104no off 48 balls) and captain Matthew Wade (28no), trimming the home side’s lead in the five-match series to 2-1.

With Australia needing 21 off the 20th over from Prasidh Krishna Wade struck a four and a single before Maxwell went 6-4-4-4 to sign off on his Indian campaign in astonishing fashion.

That was after Wade climbed into Axar Patel in the 19th over, at the start of which Australia still required 43.

“Wadey had to cash in on the left-arm spinner (Axar), which he did really well, and I was trying to take on the pace bowlers,” said Maxwell, whose fourth T20I ton came off 47 balls, equalling Aaron Finch and Josh Inglis as Australia’s quickest ever.

“We thought if we could stay in the hunt until the last over we’d give ourselves a chance.”We did really well to keep ourselves in the game until the final over.”

Travis Head, Australia’s World Cup final hero, made his first appearance of the series and swung lustily for a boundary-laced 35 before being tucked up by Avesh Khan’s slow bouncer and top-edging his pull shot to Ravi Bishnoi.

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GUWAHATI, INDIA - NOVEMBER 28: Glenn Maxwell of Australia plays a shot during game three of the T20 International Series between India and Australia at Barsapara Cricket Ground on November 28, 2023 in Guwahati, India. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

Glenn Maxwell plays a shot during game three of the T20 International Series between India and Australia at Guwahati. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

Aaron Hardie (16) and Inglis (10) went cheaply while an out-of-sorts Marcus Stoinis (17) and Tim David (first-ball duck) succumbed to India’s spinners. But Maxwell, who earlier conceded 30 from India’s final over – his only over, and Wade saved the day.

Ruturaj Gaikwad’s explosive unbeaten 123 combined with a dispirited performance from Australia’s second-string bowlers had the tourists under the pump at the halfway stage.

Gaikwad became the first Indian to score a T20 ton against Australia and his score was the second highest by an Indian in the format, behind Shubman Gill’s 126no against New Zealand in February.

With Australia’s World Cup-winning first-choice quartet of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa resting, the next-in-line attack was again treated with disdain, with the exception of Jason Behrendorff, whose 1-15 from his four overs included a rare maiden to Suryakumar Yadav. 

Kane Richardson and Hardie were inaccurate and legspinner Tanveer Sangha far too short. Hardie (1-64) equalled AJ Tye’s unwanted record for the most runs conceded by an Australian in T20Is.

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Maxwell will fly home today on a high, joining World Cup teammates Inglis, Stoinis, Steve Smith, Adam Zampa and Sean Abbott on the plane.

Head is the only World Cup winner left for the last two games of the tour, with Ben McDermott, Chris Green, Josh Philippe and Ben Dwarshuis to join a shortened 13-man squad.

The fourth match is at Raipur on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT).

© AAP

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