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Maxwell ton fires Australia to maiden T20 series win over India

Glenn Maxwell cracked a superlative unbeaten century to help Australia register their maiden T20 series victory over India with a win in the second and final Twenty20 international at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Wednesday.

Maxwell’s scintillating 113 off 55 balls overshadowed Virat Kohli’s 38-ball 72 which helped India post a competitive 190/4 in 20 overs.

Chasing 191 for victory, Maxwell smashed as many as nine sixes and seven fours on way to his third century in the shortest format as the visitors posted 194/3 to win by seven wickets with two balls to spare. Australia had won the first T-20 in Vizag on February 24 by 3 wickets and take the series 2-0 with five one-dayers now coming up.

India rode on Kohli’s brilliance and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 23-ball 40 with the pair adding a 100-run stand for the fourth wicket.

But Maxwell took the game away from India single-handedly.

Prior to the game, Australia had never beaten India in a T20 series, home or away. They had beaten India way back in 2008 at Melbourne but that was a one-off game.

The visitors kept themselves in the chase despite a shaky start which saw them being reduced to 22/2 in four overs.

But, opener D’Arcy Short (40) and Maxwell shared a 73-run stand off 43 balls to keep their chances alive before the former fell in the 12th over.

It was anyone’s game as Australia needed 60 off the last 30 balls with seven wickets in hand. Maxwell then plundered the bowling attack, smashing Yuzvendra Chahal for two sixes, including a spectacular reverse hit, to tilt the game in Australia’s favor.

For India, Vijay Shankar returned the best figures of 2/38.

Earlier, Kohli led from the front with an explosive unbeaten 38-ball 72 to propel India to 190/4.

Besides Kohli, Lokesh Rahul and Dhoni also contributed with a valuable 47 and 40 runs, respectively.

Put in to bat, the hosts started on a decent note as openers Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan added 61 runs for the opening wicket in 7.1 overs before the former became a victim of Jason Behrendorff.

Dhawan (14) and Rishabh Pant (1) then departed in quick succession as India were reeling at 74/3. However, Dhoni (40 off 23) and Kohli (72 not out off 38) then forged a crucial 100-run partnership, lifting India past the 150-run mark.

Pat Cummins finally helped the visitors get rid of a dangerous looking Dhoni in the final over. However, it was too late as incoming batsman Dinesh Karthik and Kohli displayed some fireworks to propel India to a fighting 190/4 in the allotted 20 overs.

For Australia, Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Cummins and D’ Arcy Short picked up a wicket each.

Brief Scores: India 190/4 (Virat Kohli 72 not out, KL Rahul 47, Jason Behrendorff 1/17) lost to Australia 194/3 (Glenn Maxwell 113 not out, D’Arcy Short 40, Vijay Shankar 2/38).

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