Glenn Maxwell’s ton eclipses Ruturaj Gaikwad’s maiden century, keeps Australia alive in series

Image Source : AP Ruturaj Gaikwad (left) and Glenn Maxwell (right).

A heroic century by Player of the Match (POTM) Glenn Maxwell (104* off 48 deliveries) eclipsed Ruturaj Gaikwad’s maiden international hundred and helped Australia win the third T20I at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday, November 28.

After being asked to bat first on a batting-friendly deck, India were rattled early as Yashasvi Jaiswal (6 runs off 6 balls) and Ishan Kishan (0) got out inside the first three overs of the match. Despite losing two quick wickets, skipper Suryakumar Yadav kept his foot on the gas and fought fire with fire. He stitched a 57-run stand with Ruturaj to rescue India from a precarious situation.

Though Suryakumar got out after scoring a 29-ball 39, he helped Ruturaj time to get his eye in. Gaikwad put on an eye-catching exhibition of strokes to delight the crowd as he reached his fifty on the fourth ball of the 14th over.

The 26-year-old changed his gear swiftly after scoring his half-century and took the attack to the Aussie bowling line-up that looked toothless in the absence of experience. The right-handed batter scaled his fifty off 32 balls and accelerated dramatically to reach the three-figure mark off 52 deliveries – taking just 20 more balls to reach his hundred.

Gaikwad got under the skin of Maxwell who was asked by his captain Matthew Wade to bowl the last over. The centurion targeted Maxwell and helped the Men in Blue collect 30 runs.  The Indian opener carried his bat as he powered India to 222 and remained unbeaten on 123 off 57 balls with the help of 13 fours and seven sixes at an impressive strike rate of 215.78.

In reply, Australia got off to a dream start as Travis Head launched an onslaught from ball one. Head’s aggressive intent at the top helped the visitors keep the required run rate in check early on. The Player of the Match of the ODI World Cup final 2023 raced to 35 off 18 deliveries with the help of eight fours before he failed to time a pull shot against Avesh Khan.

Popularly known as ‘The Big Show’, Maxwell put on a 60-run stand with Marcus Stoinis for the fourth wicket and kept attacking the Indian bowlers who struggled badly to hit the right areas under pressure.

Maxwell didn’t let India wrestle complete control back in their corner and kept finding the boundaries at regular intervals. He reached his century (overall fourth) in the last over of the game and won the Aussies the contest in the last over with a boundary.

He scored his fourth T20I hundred and equalled India’s Rohit Sharma to become the player with the most centuries (4) in the format. The 35-year-old power hitter also equalled Aaron Finch and Josh Inglis to record the joint-fastest hundred for Australia in the T20I format.

The fourth match of the series will be played at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur on December 1, Friday.




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