Maxwell and Carey tons set up Australia series win over England

The pair put on 212 runs for the sixth wicket after Australia had slumped to 73-5 chasing a stiff target of 303 runs in the final game of the series.

Australia batsman Glenn Maxwell   -  Getty Images

Twin centuries from Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell inspired Australia to a dramatic three-wicket victory over England on Wednesday as the touring side clinched the One-Day International series 2-1.

The pair put on 212 runs for the sixth wicket after Australia had slumped to 73-5 chasing a stiff target of 303 runs in the final game of the series.

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Jonny Bairstow scored 112 as England recovered from losing its first two wickets to the opening two balls of the game to score 302 for seven in 50 overs after winning the toss.

Australia lost its first five wickets cheaply but fought back brilliantly to win with two balls to spare against the world champion and inflict its first home One-Day series defeat for five years.

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England got off to the worst possible start as Jason Roy drove a thick outside edge to backward point and Joe Root was trapped lbw by Mitchell Starc off the first two balls of the innings.

Bairstow set about engineering a recovery, however, and England quickly pushed the run rate above six an over.

A 114-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Bairstow and Sam Billings (54) provided the backbone of the innings and Chris Woakes also contributed a rapid half-century to take England past the 300-run mark.

Woakes then took the first two wickets of the Australia innings before Root, with his part-time off-spin, nicked out David Warner and Mitchell Marsh cheaply to remove the tourist top order.

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When Marnus Labuschagne was run out in the 17th over, Australia was reeling at 73-5. Carey and Maxwell fought back, however, dragging Australia right back into the match with lusty hitting and leaving it needing 21 runs off the last 18 balls for victory.

 

They looked like throwing a winning position away when Maxwell top-edged spinner Adil Rashid and was caught by Tom Curran for 108 off 90 balls and 10 balls later Carey was caught by Mark Wood at third man off Jofra Archer for 106.

Australia needed 10 runs off the final over which England captain Eoin Morgan bravely entrusted to Rashid. Starc smacked a six off his first ball and hit another boundary to win the game, bringing a crowded summer of international cricket to an exciting conclusion.

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England had a busy three-month window into which it crammed six Tests and 12 limited-overs internationals all played behind closed doors in a bio-secure bubble because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tried to take it as deep as possible - Maxwell

Australian match winners Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell adopted a hit or bust attitude to fire the touring side to a dramatic win.

“We were really focused out there and we had a really good idea of what we wanted to do as far as keeping up the run rate was concerned and try and take it as deep as possible,” said Maxwell after being named man of the match and man of the series.

“It was amazing. Coming it at five wickets down for 70-odd (runs), it was probably hit or bust at that stage. If we lost another wicket in the next five or 10 overs, it was going to be pretty hard to expect the bowlers to do a job with the bat for us. But once our partnership started to build, we could take a couple of risks, get away with a few and ride that momentum,” Maxwell told a news conference.

Carey survived a dismissal off a Jofra Archer no-ball when he had scored nine runs before going on to reached his maiden ODI hundred. But Maxwell, the senior partner, got to three figures first.

Australia needed only 21 runs off the last three overs but Maxwell top-edged spinner Adil Rashid and was caught by Tom Curran for 108 and 10 balls later Carey was caught by a diving Mark Wood at third man for 106.

“I was really filthy with myself for going out because I thought it might be difficult for a new better to finish it off,” Maxwell said.

His concern was ill-founded, however, as Mitchell Starc attacked Rashid's final over to secure victory with two balls to spare.

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