11-Feb-2024 • 19 hrs ago
Glenn Maxwell switch hits for six • Getty Images
Australia 241 for 4 (Maxwell 120*, David 31*, Holder 2-42) beat West Indies 207 for 9 (Powell 63, Russell 37, Stoinis 3-36) by 34 runs
An unstoppable Glenn Maxwell equalled Rohit Sharma with a record fifth T20I century as Australia wrapped up the series after a comfortable victory over West Indies at the Adelaide Oval.
Maxwell flattened a full-strength West Indies in perfect batting conditions with eight sixes and his unbeaten 120 runs off 55 balls was the second highest T20I score for a batter at No.4 or lower.
Australia’s 241 for 4 was their highest on home soil and proved well beyond the reach of West Indies despite an attractive 63 from 36 balls from skipper Rovman Powell.
Marcus Stoinis claimed three wickets, while left-arm quick Spencer Johnson, in his first home international, took 2 for 39 as Australia clinched the series following their 11-run game one victory at Bellerive Oval.
There was late controversy when Alzarri Joseph was short of his ground attempting a tight single, but he remained at the crease after umpire Gerard Abood said there had been no appeal. Tim David insisted he had appealed as Australia remonstrated in heated scenes, but the incident ultimately didn’t affect the match’s outcome.
The series has effectively started T20 World Cup preparations for both teams with the third and final game to be played in Perth on Tuesday.
Marsh dominates powerplay before Maxi magic
Josh Inglis started well in Hobart to kick-start the race over who will partner opener David Warner at the T20 World Cup. He hit 39 off 25 balls in the series-opener but couldn’t back up and fell for 4 in the second over.
The dismissal brought captain Mitchell Marsh to the crease, who did not bat in the powerplay in game one and played having tested positive to Covid-19. He was feeling better and relished batting in the powerplay by blasting 29 off 12 balls.
He smashed a first-ball boundary before unfurling his power with a six over backward point and another over the legside boundary. Attempting to maximise the powerplay, Marsh holed out in the sixth over and Australia soon fell to 64 for 3 when Warner was dismissed in the next over.
Maxwell started slowly and should have been run out on 10 when wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran missed a shy at the stumps. He capitalised on the next delivery with an incredible sliced six over cover point off Romario Shepherd to ignite his innings.
Maxwell completely dominated a half-century partnership with Stoinis and targeted Powell with a trio of boundaries, including a clever reverse sweep.
He raced to his half-century off 25 balls before producing another inventive stroke with a switch hit for six off left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein. Maxwell notched an incredible century off 50 balls in the penultimate over of the innings to reach a second T20I ton in his last three innings.
Rovman Powell gave West Indies a glimmer of hope•Getty Images
Joseph bowls rapidly, but West Indies fall away
Despite his attack conceding 213 for 7 at Bellerive Oval, Powell again decided to bowl but he bafflingly stuck first up with Hosein who was hit for six on the second delivery by a reverse swat from Warner.
But their seamers had much better success against Warner, who had blasted 70 off 36 balls in Hobart, as they bowled a straighter line with Joseph producing swing and hitting speeds close to 150 kmh. A frustrated Warner groaned loudly when he fell to a slower Shepherd delivery, but West Indies were then monstered by Maxwell.
With Maxwell in a mood, West Indies were made to look helpless and there probably wasn’t a lot they could do. But some of their tactics were head-scratching, including often not having a third man despite their strategy of bowling wide yorkers.
Hometown hero Johnson impresses
West Indies, of course, came out swinging and smashed 42 off the first over fours. That was despite Josh Hazlewood delivering a wicket-maiden in the second over as left-arm quick Jason Behrendorff’s tough series continued with his first two overs costing 31 runs.
Johnson entered the attack in the fifth over and immediately started with a 143 kmh short delivery. Two balls later he had Pooran spooning to midwicket before nicking off Sherfane Rutherford with a line and length delivery that was more reminiscent of the longer formats.
Having debuted for Australia late last year and then starring for BBL champions Brisbane Heat, Johnson is a bowler of considerable interest across formats and he might be in the frame for a T20 World Cup spot.
Dre Russ provides big hitting in vain
Andre Russell had only played one T20I in Australia before the series. He had been a fan favourite in the country due to the BBL, but only faced two deliveries in Hobart.
Coming to the crease with West Indies at a forlorn 63 for 5, Russell started with three boundaries off Johnson. With no helmet or cap, he whacked legspinner Adam Zampa for six over deep midwicket before clubbing a short delivery from Stoinis into the second tier.
But he succumbed to the short delivery later in the over to end an entertaining 37 off 16 balls. An overshadowed Powell then took over, but West Indies never threatened.
Glenn MaxwellRovman PowellMarcus StoinisSpencer JohnsonJosh HazlewoodWest IndiesAustraliaAustralia vs West IndiesWest Indies in Australia
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth