Maxwell fires Australia to series win over India


Glenn Maxwell made 96 off 83 balls as Australia successfully chased down the Virat Kohli-inspired 295 posted by India to record a series-clinching victory in the third one-day international in Melbourne.

Maxwell built upon the impressive work of opener Shaun Marsh, who hit his 12th ODI half-century, by producing a late surge to propel the hosts beyond their target with seven balls remaining, the three-wicket win sending them into an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-game series.

Maxwell's knock overshadowed the sensational work of Kohli, whose masterclass with a superb 117 off as many balls proved insufficient as Australia chased them down for the third successive match.

After entering at number five, the 27-year-old tallied 11 boundaries - three of which were maximums - and, despite being caught by Shikhar Dhawan at mid off just short of his century in the penultimate over, the hosts were able to pick up the one remaining run needed for victory off the following delivery.

Steve Smith won the toss and elected to send the tourists in to bat, a decision that looked to be immediately vindicated by Kane Richardson's (1-48) early dismissal of Rohit Sharma for six.

India superstar Kohli supplied some lovely strokes and good running to build his century off 105 balls, also putting on a second-wicket partnership worth 129 with Dhawan (68) and another 109-run stand with Ajinkya Rahane (50).

The losses of Dhawan and Rahane came from the fierce John Hastings (4-58) - the latter's dismissal the result of Smith and Maxwell producing a remarkable tag-team catch near the boundary.

Gurkeerat Singh (8) and MS Dhoni (23) were both dismissed before the end of the innings, with Ravindra Jadeja (6 not out) and Rishi Dhawan (3 not out) left at the end of the 50 overs.

Marsh and Aaron Finch got Australia's chase off to a solid start, claiming 47 runs off the opening seven overs despite Gurkeerat's criminal drop of the latter at mid off.

Umesh Yadav (2-68) dismissed Finch for 21 when he edged back to Dhoni and, after Jadeja (2-49) removed Smith (41) and George Bailey (23), Marsh went out for 62 when his thin edge off Ishant Sharma (2-53) was caught by Dhoni.

India had no answer for Maxwell, however, and after they were denied an appeal for caught behind in the 40th over, the Australian turned it up a notch to get the hosts within reach of their target.

All three of his sixes came after that point, but after taking 10 off Yadav from successive balls in the penultimate over, he was caught by Dhawan as he raced back from mid off.

Maxwell had done enough to put Australia on the brink of the series win, though, and James Faulkner (21 not out) saw them over the line with the final single.