ADELAIDE – West Indies suffered a battering from Glenn Maxwell’s sublime record-equalling hundred to plummet to a 34-run defeat in the second Twenty20 International, and hand Australia a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series in Australia on Sunday.
The Caribbean side was always up against it once the Aussies piled up an intimidating 241 for four off their 20 overs behind Maxwell’s unbeaten 120 off 55 deliveries, and they eventually buckled under the pressure of a difficult run chase and subsided to 207 for nine.
Captain Rovman Powell briefly lifted his side’s hopes with a top score of 63 off 36 balls but West Indies failed to recover after slumping to 63 for five in the seventh over, medium pacer Marcus Stoinis (3-36) and rookie left-arm fast bowler Spencer Johnson (2-39) slicing through the top order with a brace of wickets each.
Stoinis returned to add the wicket of big-hitter Andre Russell for a 16-ball 37 and elite seamer Josh Hazlewood (2-31) struck key blows in the lower order as the West Indies challenge faded.
“I think the boys showed courage, the way they started,” Powell said afterwards.
“They started aggressively but we kept losing wickets at key intervals. In the middle, we also failed to get big partnerships just as the Aussies did.”
Australia captain Mitchell Marsh agreed.
“We took wickets early which put them under the gun,” he said.
Sent in, Australia lost Josh Inglis cheaply for four in the second over but Marsh (29) and opener David Warner (22) put on 43 for the second wicket to steady the innings.
West Indies hit back when Joseph got Marsh to hole out to mid-on in the sixth over and pacer Romario Shepherd deceived the left-handed Warner into skying to mid-off in the following over, leaving the Aussies stumbling on 64 for three in the seventh over.
Maxwell then engineered Australia’s highest T20 total on home soil, first anchoring an 82-run, fourth-wicket stand with Stoinis (16) before inspiring a thrilling 95-run, unbroken fifth-wicket partnership with Tim David, whose unbeaten 31 came from 14 deliveries and included a brace of fours and sixes.
The 35-year-old Maxwell thumped a dozen fours and eight sixes, racing to his fifty off 25 balls at the end of the 12th before reaching his fifth T20I century off 50 balls, with consecutive fours off Shepherd at the end of the penultimate over.
Maxwell is now level with India’s Rohit Sharma for the most T20I career hundreds.
He combined with David to plunder 25 runs from the final over sent down by Russell, as Australia gathered 77 runs from the final five overs.
Staring at a required run rate of just over 12 per over, West Indies lost Brandon King in the second over for five, the right-hander picking out David at deep square off Hazlewood with 11 on the board.
Johnson Charles (24) and Nicholas Pooran (18) counter-attacked in a 31-run second-wicket partnership but once Pooran miscued a pull at Johnson to mid-wicket, the visitors lost four wickets for 21 runs in quick time.
Powell led the fightback, however, belting five fours and four sixes as he put on 47 for the sixth with Russell and 54 for the seventh with Shepherd.
Russell smashed four fours and two sixes before perishing in the 11th over while Shepherd made a run-a-ball 12 with a single four and a six before falling in the 16th.
Powell reached his sixth T20I fifty in the 16th over with a top-edged six over the ’keeper but with West Indies requiring 65 from 19 balls, he charged leg-spinner Adam Zampa and slapped a low full toss into the lap of long-on at 176 for eight.
Jason Holder entered to lash a 16-ball 28 not out but the game was long gone.
AUSTRALIA 241 for four off 20 overs (Glenn Maxwell 120 not out, Tim David 31, Mitchell Marsh 29; Jason Holder 2-42)
WEST INDIES 207 for nine off 20 overs (Rovman Powell 63, Andre Russell 37, Jason Holder 28 not out; Marcus Stoinis 3-36, Josh Hazlewood 2-31, Spencer Johnson 2-39)
Australia won by 34 runs.