For the second time this month, Glenn Maxwell played an innings to rank among the greatest in its format’s history to rescue a dead chase from nowhere, this time pulling off a heist to keep Australia’s T20I series against India alive.
India had won the first two games in the five-match series, and looked set to add a series-sealing third win after Australia slumped to 134-5 in the 14th over, chasing 223 to win.
Maxwell had played some part in the total being that high, conceding 30 runs in the final over of India’s innings as Ruturaj Gaikwad put the finishing touches of an unbeaten 123. But while he had runs to make up, no game is decided until Maxwell is out, as he proved again.
This innings didn’t quite rank alongside his Afghanistan epic, in which he smashed a double-century to rescue his side from 92-7 while suffering from severe cramps in a result crucial for World Cup semi-final qualification. But it was special nonetheless.
He timed his assault perfectly. One six came off Arshdeep Singh, then six and four off Avesh Khan, and then two sixes off Arshdeep again. The rate was still high, and got higher as Prasidh Krishna – who ended the day with the unwanted record of India’s most expensive T20I spell to his name – snuck in a six-run over to leave 43 needed off the last two.
Another awe-inspiring knock from Glenn Maxwell. He scores 104 off 48 balls as Australia sensationally chase 223 against India to get back into the T20 series. When Maxwell is on it, there is noone in the world who matches him for logic-defying chases. Incredible!!! #INDvsAUS pic.twitter.com/Z1c2yLNCMb
— Aatif Nawaz (@AatifNawaz) November 28, 2023
Unlike against Afghanistan, Maxwell had some proper run-scoring support, with stand-in captain Matthew Wade hitting two fours and a six off the first four balls of the following over, with four byes aiding Australia’s effort. He began the final over with a four before a single brought Maxwell on strike. Four balls remained, and Australia needed 16 to win, with Maxwell 14 shy of his hundred. He managed both, carving six and three fours to seal a stunning victory.
The century was Maxwell’s fourth in the format, bringing him level with Rohit Sharma’s world record. Mention should also go to Jason Behrendorff, who finished with figures of 1-12 in four overs on a day which saw almost 450 runs scored.