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'Less than ideal': Maxwell apologises for bender after mauling Windies with monster ton as Aussies clinch series

11th February, 2024
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11th February, 2024
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The last time Glenn Maxwell made headlines for a big night out in Adelaide it was because he ended up in hospital after a Six and Out concert.

This time around the only people in danger of ending up needing medical treatment were the fans and the West Indies’ only hope of stopping him would have been a successful request for a law change to make it Six and Out for every time Maxwell cleared the boundary.

The Victorian veteran put on a power hitting masterclass at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday night to vanquish the Windies and clinch the three-match T20 series for Australia heading into Tuesday night’s finale in Perth. 

Australia broke the record for highest T20 score in Adelaide in racking up a mammoth 3-241 before the Windies tried hard but never seriously threatened the target in finishing on 9-207.

The match ended in bizarre fashion when Alzarri Joseph was run out by Spencer Johnson but umpire Gerard Abood didn’t call for a video review because no one appealed.

The Australians then tried to convince him that they had appealed after the big screen showed he was caught short – “I promise you, I appealed” claimed Tim David – but he refused to give him out even though the video evidence was conclusive for all to see.

Maxwell earlier monstered the touring bowlers to blast 120 runs from just 55 deliveries to become just the second player in T20 history after Rohit Sharma to register five international tons.

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While the Indian skipper has accomplished the feat as an opener in 143 matches, Maxwell has primarily batted in the middle order and this was just his 94th appearance for Australia. 

He added he was thankful for the outstanding support he had received from Australian cricket heirarchy after the January 19 incident when he ended up in hospital after drinking heavily at an exhibition golf day then the Six and Out concert.

“I think probably it affected my family a little bit more than it affected me,” he said, describing the incident as “less than ideal”.

“I had that week off, I knew I had that week off away from the game. And I came back and got back into my running, my gym program and it felt really good and refreshed once I got back.

“And it’s all been focused on getting myself ready for this (T20) series and what’s to come. We know we have got four international games until the (T20) World Cup and how it comes around pretty quick. And I just try to make sure I’m in as good a space that I can be for that tournament.”

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His blazing innings featured 12 fours and eight sixes, including some of the more improbable shots you could hope to see on a cricket field.

A switch-hit for six in the direction of what was cover and then became mid-wicket travelled 89 metres, which would be a great shot for any natural left-hander let alone someone who switched positions midway through the delivery. 

He actually took a while to get going, scoring just four runs from his first five balls but after launching a sweetly timed six over midwicket off the spin of Akeal Hosein, “The Big Show” was thrilling the spectators and putting them in danger of being hit by a small white projectile travelling at great speed.

Maxwell twice peppered the upper deck of the Adelaide Oval grandstands as he sprinted to triple figures – he needed 25 for his first 50 runs and the same amount of deliveries to ton up. 

The Aussies were in a spot of bother at 3-64 before Maxwell clicked into top gear.

Josh Inglis went early after flicking a pull shot to the deep on four, captain Mitch Marsh scorched his way to 29 off 12 deliveries before top-edging to mid-on and David Warner threatened to go big after reverse-hitting his third ball for six but skied a heave on 22. 

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Maxwell first found an ally in Marcus Stoinis, who was content to rotate the strike in contributing 16 in a 78-run partnership, before Tim David joined in the late fireworks with 31 from 14 in a 95-run partnership in a little more than six overs.

With his powerful forearms working overtime as he flicked decent deliveries into the boundary and beyond, Maxwell looked exhausted after his flurry of fantastic shots, although not quite to the point where he couldn’t walk due to cramps like his epic World Cup double-hundred against Afghanistan.

“It was good fun, that’s for sure,” he said in an interview with Fox Cricket immediately after walking off. “I just gave myself a chance – it’s a really nice wicket, it’s always good batting here at Adelaide Oval. 

“It was nice to cash in and spend most of the time out there. When it’s not doing too much you’re thinking in your brain you’ve got to make the most of this opportunity. You don’t get too many of them in T20 cricket when you’ve got a couple of short square boundaries and the wicket is really nice and true, and you’ve given yourself a good platform.

“I’ve always relied on my hand speed to get me out of trouble if my footwork’s a little bit slow. I just wanted to give myself the best chance to use my hands to guide it into the gaps or over the infield. It really seemed to work for me today.”

He brought up his ton by smashing a drive through cover in the 19th over and in concert with David, they plundered 25 from the final over of the innings from Andre Russell.

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“Magnificent innings,” said Mike Hussey on Fox Cricket commentary. “He started to find pretty much every corner of this Adelaide Oval, the boundary of it.

“He’s just ridiculously hard to bowl to. They pitched it up and he hit them over mid-wicket. They bowled wide and he hit them over point. He batted left-handed, he played scoops, he showed power, he showed touch. He showed timing, he showed poise, he showed technique at times.”

Faced with the near-impossible task of needing to score at more than two runs per ball, the Windies did not worry about getting in a few sighters with opener Johnson Charles sending Jason Behrendorff the distance from the first ball he faced.

Opening partner Brandon King perished on four to Josh Hazlewood when he found David just inside the rope and Nicholas Pooran (18) fell in Spencer Johnson’s first over when sub fielder Aaron Hardie nearly made a meal of a straightforward catch.

Charles (24) and Shai Hope (duck) departed in the sixth over, Stoinis’ first trundle for the night, and when Johnson nicked off Sherfane Rutherford with a peach of a leg-cutter without scoring, the Windies’ minute chances had been extinguished at 5-63.

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Russell slammed 37 off 16 before he became Stoinis’ third victim from a mistimed shot to midwicket before skipper Rovman Powell continued the counter-attack with a rousing 63 off 36.

Powell looked in great touch as he smacked five fours and four sixes but hit possibly the worst ball he faced, a full toss from Adam Zampa, to Inglis at long on.

Hosein went first ball to a Hazlewood yorker before Jason Holder capitalised on the run out that wasn’t to hook Stoinis for six in the final over. Stoinis then tried to make up for the earlier missed opportunity by running him out from the last ball after he defended down the wicket but the throw was too late and the ball ricocheted away for four overthrows.

Maxwell’s memorable knock

* Reached ton from 50 balls, the fastest T20 international scored in Australia
* Previous fastest in Australia was from 52 balls, by South African Rilee Rossouw against Bangladesh in Sydney during 2022 World Cup
* Maxwell (102 T20Is) joins India’s Rohit Sharma (151 T20Is) with the most centuries – five – in T20I history
* All of Maxwell’s T201 tons are unbeaten: 145no v Sri Lanka, Pallakele, September 2016
120no v West Indies, Adelaide, February 2024
113no v India, Bengaluru, February 2019
104no v India, Guwahati, November 2023
103no v England, Hobart, February 2018

* Maxwell, Aaron Finch and Josh Inglis hold the Australian record for fastest T20 century, 47 balls
* Maxwell’s other T20 centuries have come from 49 balls, 50 balls (twice) and 58 balls
* The fastest T20I century ever is from 34 balls, by Kushal Malla for Nepal against Mongolia in September 2023.
* The next quickest is from 35 balls, by David Miller (South Africa), Sharma (India) and Sudesh Wickramasekara (Czech Republic) with AAP

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