powered by

08 February 201517:04 By Dileep Premachandran, Adelaide

Maxwell, Warner lead Australia to big win

Australia puts up 371 following centuries from the duo before Pat Cummins thwarts exciting Indian chase with three-for

Maxwell, Warner lead Australia to big win - Cricket News

Australia rode on a stroke-filled century from Glenn Maxwell to script a 106-run win against India.

Teams use these warm-up matches to settle on their first-choice XI, and to use the entire squad of 15 to try out last-minute tweaks. On Sunday (February 8), on a belter of a pitch at the Adelaide Oval, India and Australia used as many as 17 bowlers. One group enjoyed considerably more success than the other, with Australia riding on thrilling, stroke-filled hundreds from David Warner and Glenn Maxwell to script an emphatic 106-run win.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for India though, with Shikhar Dhawan, who had been struggling for runs in Australia, scoring a composed half-century, and Ajinkya Rahane crafting 66 from just 52 balls. India was 157 for 2 in the 25th over, and in with an outside chance of chasing down the 372 required, when Pat Cummins and Mitchell Johnson triggered a collapse that led to India losing 5 for 28. A brilliant piece of fielding from Warner at point to run Suresh Raina out didn’t help the Indian cause, and the late burst from Ambati Rayudu – who walked out to The Troggs’ Wild Thing and smashed a 37-ball half-century that included four sixes – proved to be no more than consolation.

The stories of the day, though, were provided by the powerful forearms of Warner and the audacious shot selection of Maxwell. Warner took the Indian bowling apart on conventional lines, stroking 14 fours and two sixes on his way to 104. The century spanned just 80 balls and featured shots in every direction. The shorter square boundaries, in particular, bore the brunt, as wayward bowling was punished through drives, cuts, pulls and cleaves.

Aaron Finch had made just 20, spooning Stuart Binny to Virat Kohli at mid-on, but India could exercise no control with the new ball as Warner and Shane Watson raised the 100 in just 13.2 overs.

When Watson and Steve Smith fell within five balls of each other, India had a chance to haul things back, but that window of opportunity was slammed shut by Warner and Maxwell, who added 65 before Warner tried to drive Axar Patel through the off side once too often.

Maxwell had started relatively sedately, scoring 34 off the first 28 balls he faced. But once he was set, he was unstoppable. The reverse sweep, which he had insisted at the open-media session was as legitimate a weapon as the conventional one, was employed time and again, with the ball dabbed fine, slammed square or top-edged when the timing was awry. On a couple of occasions, the ball fell yards away from the fielders, and that was all the luck he needed to run amok.

Umesh Yadav conceded just 21 in his first seven overs, and R Ashwin was relatively tidy, but the rest of the bowling unit copped fearful punishment. Patel, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohit Sharma all went for more than nine an over, and Mohammed Shami nearly so. Even Yadav was given a rough time in his final spell.

Apart from George Bailey, who made a sedate 44 from 66 balls, no other Australian batsman crossed 25. They didn’t need to. By the time Maxwell retired out at the end of the 45th over, he had made 122 from 57 balls, the last 88 taking just 29 deliveries.

Dhawan and Rahane, who added 104 after Rohit Sharma and Kohli fell cheaply, gave India some hope, but it was going to need a monumental innings or two to tilt at a 371-run windmill. Cummins, who bowled with impressive pace for figures of 3 for 30, ensured that it would be the home side that departed this dress rehearsal – watched by 13,909 spectators, many of them Indian – the happier of the two teams.

To review the Australia v India match in full, please click here.