Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade scored a brilliant 80 and a quick-fire fifty from Glenn Maxwell helped Australia set an imposing 187-run target for India in the third and final T20I at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
Put into bat, Australia didn’t have a great start as they lost skipper Aaron Finch in the second over. Finch, while trying to collect a boundary against Washington Sundar, was caught by Hardik Pandya at mid-off and went back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers.
Wade, who was leading the hosts in the second T20I, however kept scoring boundaries at the other end and alongside Steve Smith, moved the Australian innings forward.
The duo took the team’s score to 51/1 at the end of the powerplay. Both added 65 runs for the second-wicket partnership before Smith got out by Sundar in the 10th over at his individual score of 24.
The keeper-batsman, who had scored a well-rounded 58 in the second T20I, brought his second consecutive fifty in the 11th over bowled by left-arm sensation T Natarajan.
Glenn Maxwell, who came into bat next, then stitched another 50-plus partnership with Wade to take Australia on course of a big score.
Maxwell, in particular, was at his menacing best as he clubbed two sixes in the final over of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal who went for 41 in his four overs. The right-handed batsman played plenty of reverse sweeps and switch hits during the course of his 36-ball innings.
The duo added 90 runs off just 53 balls before Wade got out in the penultimate over of the innings after contributing with 80, a 53-ball inning studded with seven fours and two sixes.
Maxwell, after scoring 54 with the help of three fours and three sixes, got bowled by Natarajan in the final over. D’Arcy Short scored seven off three before he was run-out. In the end, Moises Henriques and Daniel Sams remained unbeaten on 5 and 0 respectively.
For India, Sundar returned with figures of 2/34 while Natarajan picked a wicket while conceding 33 runs in his four overs.
Brief scores: Australia 186/5 (Matthew Wade 80, Glenn Maxwell 54; Washington Sundar 2/34)