BANGALORE: Glenn Maxwell hit a breathtaking century to single-handedly lead Australia to a 2-0 series sweep over India with their seven-wicket win in the second Twenty20 international on Wednesday.
Maxwell smashed 113 off 55 balls as the tourists chased down their target of 191 with two balls to spare at Bangalore’s M.Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Maxwell’s knock laced with 7 fours and 9 sixes eclipsed Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s 72 off 38 balls that lifted the hosts to 190 for four after being put into bat first.
“Anytime that you can win any kind of series against India in India is truly special. Glenn Maxwell was truly sensational tonight,” skipper Aaron Finch said after Australia’s first-ever T20 series win in India.
“We’ve been on a journey for the last 10-11 months building upto the World Cup and there has been some pain during the journey.
“We’ve done well to take the blows but also have made some progress, hoping to peak at the right time for the World Cup.”
Australia lost two early wickets in their chase but Maxwell stood his ground with two good partnerships including an unbeaten 99-run stand with Peter Handscomb, who made 20.
He finished the game with a six and four off paceman Siddarth Kaul to give the Aussies a convincing win after their last-ball finish in the opening match.
D’Arcy Short made 40 off 28 balls and his 73-run partnership with Maxwell, who made 56 in the previous match on Sunday, also remained crucial in the successful chase.
Put into bat, the hosts rode on a century stand between Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who made 40 off 23 balls, to take the attack to the opposition bowlers.
Opener K.L. Rahul gave his team a brisk start with his 47 off 26 deliveries but Australia hit back with a couple of wickets to check the opposition surge.
Fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile got Rahul, who scored a fifty in his team’s opening loss, with a change of pace as the batsman was caught out at deep third man.
Jason Behrendorff got Shikhar Dhawan for 14 and Short claimed Rishabh Pant’s wicket for one with a brilliant catch from Jhye Richardson.
Kohli then clobbered the ball to all parts of the ground as he hit Coulter-Nile for three straight sixes in the 16th over to entertain a raucous home crowd.
Dhoni soon joined the party as the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman hit 3 fours and 3 sixes before falling to Pat Cummins.
“Australia outplayed us in all departments and deserved to win. 190 is a good total on most grounds,” said Kohli.
“But if there is so much dew as there was tonight and when you have an innings like what Glenn Maxwell played, nothing much you can do.”
The two teams now head into five one-day internationals starting Saturday in Hyderabad. —AFP