Bengaluru T20I: Glenn Maxwell’s 55-ball 113 powers Australia to 2-0 series win
Glenn Maxwell hit a superb century as Australia defeated India by seven wickets in the second T20I in Bengaluru and clinched the two-match series 2-0 on Wednesday night. Virat Kohli's half century went in vain
Bengaluru: Glenn Maxwell's blistering 55-ball 113 not out handed Australia their first-ever T20I bilateral series win in India on Wednesday night (February 27) here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Maxwell hit his third T20I hundred as the visitors clinched the two-match series 2-0 against India. They had won the opener in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. Now, the teams will face off in five ODIs starting on March 2 in Hyderabad.
Chasing 191, Australia won by seven wickets, finishing on 194/3 in 19.4 overs. Maxwell hit a six and a four to close out the game as the 28,000-plus home fans were left dejected. Australia needed 60 off final five and won with two balls to spare.
Indian bowlers were hampered by the dew factor. Barring Jasprit Bumrah (0/30 in four overs), rest of them went for more than eight per over with Siddarth Kaul being the most expensive with 1/45 in three overs. He bowled the last over when Australia need nine to win.
The 30-year-old Maxwell, who walked to the crease with Australia reduced to 22/2 in four overs, mixed caution with aggression and destroyed the Indian bowling.
He reached his century off 50 balls in the 19th over and there were no big celebrations as he still had the game to finish with the team needing 13 from 11.
With Maxwell scoring boundaries at will, his partner Peter Handscomb played his part by giving him the strike. He was not out on 20. Maxwell hit seven fours and nine sixes. After Maxwell’s big knock, the next best for Australia was 40 from opener D’Arcy Short.
Maxwell and Handscomb put on a match-winning 99-run unbroken partnership for the fourth wicket in 8.3 overs. For the third wicket, Maxwell put on 73 in 7.1 overs with Short.
Earlier, skipper Kohli's magnificent 38-ball 72 not out lifted India to 190/4 in 20 overs. Thanks to Kohli's onslaught, the hosts went past the 150-mark after struggling mid-innings. He and MS Dhoni added 100 runs for the fourth wicket in quick time.
It was all Kohli show after the 15th over. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain enthralled his home fans with a flurry of sixes.
From 113/3 in 15 overs, India blitzed 77 in the final five. It was started by Kohli in the 16th over, when he hit Nathan Coulter-Nile for a hat-trick of sixes.
The right-hander brought up his 20th T20I fifty off just 29 balls. And, he wasn't finished yet. He continued to torment the Aussie bowlers as he finished the Indian innings in style, with a six off Pat Cummins.
As Kohli blazed his way at one end, Dhoni too did not hold back. He hit three fours and three sixes for his 23-ball 40 before falling in the final over, in search of quick runs.
After Australia captain Finch won the toss and chose to field, India were off to a quiet start before KL Rahul injected life into the innings.
Rahul, fresh from his fifty in the first T20I in Visakhapatnam, hit a 26-ball 47 with three fours and four sixes. His opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, who came in for Rohit Sharma, struggled for a 24-ball 14.
Rishabh Pant fell quickly for one off six balls as India were 74/3 in 10.5 overs. It was at this stage that Kohli and Dhoni came together to pulverise the Australian bowling attack.
Dinesh Karthik hit two fours in three balls to remain unbeaten on eight.
Cummins was the most expensive Australian bowler in terms of economy rate (13.33), going for 1/40 in three overs. Jhye Richardson too went for plenty (1/45 in four overs) and so was Coulter-Nile (1/33 in three overs).
India made two changes, opting for Dhawan and Kaul for Rohit and Mayank Markande. Australia were unchanged.