After making an unbeaten 155 against South Africa A in the first unofficial Test, Glenn Maxwell must have thought a return to the Australian side was on the cards.
But with scores of 0, 0 and 3 in his next three matches, those plans were quickly put on hold.
Fortunately for himself, and more importantly Australia A, the man they call “Big Show” delivered the knockout punch that cricket fans had been waiting for.
“Yeah well obviously the last three games I’ve played I’ve had three scores under 10, so it was good to get some runs finally.”
And that’s exactly what the Victorian all-rounder did, smashing a rapid-fire 145 off just 79 deliveries.
Incredibly, his last 100 runs came off just 36 balls to help catapult his side to 8-298 from their 50 overs.
It didn’t look good earlier on, when Australia A lost 3-2 in the space of six deliveries to once again highlight their middle-order frailties.
“Obviously I didn’t come in at a great position at that point of the game. We were in a little bit of trouble at 8-160 at one stage.” Maxwell said after the match.
“It’s good to make some runs when the team needs me.”
Nic Maddinson passed 50 for the fifth time in six matches, while Josh Hazlewood played a good supporting role at the end.
Maxwell’s 41 runs from the final two overs, which included a hat-trick of sixes to start the 50th, proved the difference as Australia A held on by seven runs.
India A looked set to chase down the imposing total, with three of their top five posting half-centuries.
“They were in control the whole way until basically the 48th over when Nathan Coulter-Nile bowled a really good over and got the game back for us”, Maxwell said.
“The boys did really well. We just hung in there as long as we could and eventually India sort of gave us enough chances to take the game away from them.”
Indian batsman Ambati Rayudu conceded his side probably should have won the game after getting themselves into a strong position.
“We were right in the chase. We brought it down from 8-9 runs per over to under 6 with four overs to go.”
“I think it just happens. They bowled some tight overs. It’s a good experience for us to learn a lot on this tour.”
India A needed just 16 runs from the final two overs, but Coulter-Nile (3-37) ensured Australia A would move to within one win of a spot in the final of the triangular series.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 09 August, 2013 8:00AM AEST