|Twenty20 tri-series, Hobart:|
|England 155-9 (20 overs): Malan 50, Maxwell 3-10|
|Australia 161-5 (18.3 overs): Maxwell 103*, Willey 3-28|
|Australia won by five wickets|
Glenn Maxwell hit an unbeaten 103, after taking 3-10, to give Australia a five-wicket win in England’s opening game of the T20 tri-series.
Set 156 to win in Hobart after Dawid Malan made 50, the hosts fell to 4-2 in the first over as David Willey removed David Warner and Chris Lynn.
D’Arcy Short, who made 30, and Maxwell rebuilt with a stand of 78.
Maxwell kicked on despite further losses, sealing victory and bringing up a 58-ball hundred with a six.
Australia, who won with nine balls to spare, have won their opening two games of the tri-series following victory over New Zealand on Saturday.
England face Australia in Melbourne on Saturday at 08:20 GMT.
The Big Show
All-rounder Maxwell, 29, was surprisingly dropped for the one-day series against England, with his approach to training questioned by captain Steve Smith, but once again he proved his worth to Australia’s white-ball sides.
Following an unbeaten 40 against New Zealand in the opening T20, Maxwell played a sparkling knock, scoring prodigiously square of the wicket before hitting down the ground later on.
He was reprieved twice. The first was a poor drop by Alex Hales at deep square leg on 40. The second – when he was on 59 – was more controversial, with Jason Roy claiming a low catch at long-off, only for the TV umpire to overturn the on-field umpire’s ‘soft signal’ of out.
Yet Maxwell was unruffled. Returning to the strike on 97 with one needed for victory, he clattered Mark Wood over mid-wicket to reach his second T20 international century, containing 10 fours and four sixes.
He was also impressive with the ball, capitalising on the pressure built by the seam bowlers to have Malan and Eoin Morgan caught trying to attack, before spinning one past Willey’s reckless charge to have him stumped.
Despite being recalled to the one-day squad because of injury, Maxwell played no part in the 4-1 series defeat by England, in which Australia seemed to lack middle-order hitting and a reliable second spin option.
With him in the side, Australia look much more accomplished.
Malan sharp but England sloppy
Malan was the only member of England’s XI to play in the Ashes and, having also provided cover for Ben Stokes in the ODI squad, has endured a longer tour than most.
But the Middlesex batsman again looked sharp in bringing up his second half-century in only his second T20 international, rocking back to cut or pull anything short and driving well to build on a fast start by Hales, who made 22.
Captain Morgan contributed 22 off 14 balls, only to miscue Maxwell to Warner at mid-off and spark a collapse of six wickets for 33 runs.
Jos Buttler and Sam Billings were drawn into false shots to be dismissed cheaply, while Willey failed to read the situation.
Malan, Adil Rashid and Tom Curran were caught trying to up the run-rate after miserly bowling from Andrew Tye (1-28), Kane Richardson (1-27) and Ashton Agar (2-15).
Having been well set for 200, England were thankful for Chris Jordan’s unbeaten 16 off 11 balls, including a six off the last delivery, to reach 155-9.
‘I didn’t have much left at the end’ – reaction
Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell: “It’s been great to transfer my Sheffield Shield form into the Big Bash and now this tri-series. That’s the most pleasing aspect for me.
“I told Alex Carey to get two off the first ball because I didn’t have much left, but he gloved one and told me to go and get the hundred.”
England captain Eoin Morgan: “We got off to a reasonable start but losing six wickets for 30 or 40 runs cost us.
“I thought we fought really hard with the ball and to push it for as long as we did was brilliant. Glenn Maxwell scoring a hundred out of 161 and they finishing in the 19th over really shows that we did push them.
“It was the bat that cost us the whole game but if we’d taken the catch of Glenn’s and put more pressure on the lower order we might have been in with a chance.”
On the decision to overturn a catch to dismiss Maxwell on 59: “On the field I agreed with the umpires but it did look as though there was some doubt on the big screen and I am happy to go with the third umpire.
“Any 50-50 catch, the closer to it you are on the field the better judgement you have of seeing whether it’s out or not. Having the option of the third umpire does sometimes cast doubt over the fielder’s reputation, but Jason said his finger was under it and maybe we have got to trust that.”