England v Australia ODIs - Men's
Miracle in Manchester! Epic stand hands Aussies series
Maxwell and Carey hundreds rescue Australia, who break England's one-day dominance with a remarkable three-wicket win
17 September 2020, 06:45 AM AEST
A record-breaking partnership between Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey has sealed a landmark series win for Australia in the final ODI against England at Old Trafford in Manchester.
The victory marks a stunning turnaround for Australia following their 0-5 defeat in England just two years ago, and ends the world champions' run of 13 bilateral series unbeaten in the format, which stretched back to January 2017.
The brilliant Maxwell (108 from 90 balls) provided just the impetus the Australians needed from No.7 after they slipped to 5-73 in pursuit of England's 7-302, which had been achieved largely on the back of Jonny Bairstow's 112 and came after Mitchell Starc left the hosts reeling with wickets from the first two balls of the match.
Maxwell plonked Jofra Archer over the midwicket boundary from the second ball he faced and looked focused and determined thereafter, combining finesse, flair and fireworks as only the enigmatic Australian can.
On reaching 45, he became the fastest to post 3,000 runs in terms of balls faced in ODI history, and by that point he and the industrious Carey had settled into a partnership that seemed to take England by surprise after the hosts looked to have proceedings well under control.
With his front leg splayed out towards midwicket in his stance, Maxwell seemed to be providing a none-too-subtle clue about the short boundary he was targeting off leg-spinner Adil Rashid, but England were powerless to stop him going there repeatedly with regular success.
The Victorian enjoyed a life in the 32nd over when he edged Rashid behind only for Jos Buttler to drop a difficult chance, and a few balls later, England rolled the dice with a referral for lbw that was correctly ruled not out.
Carey meanwhile had engaged in an intriguing battle with England fast men Archer and Mark Wood, and he too benefited from a dose of good fortune when he guided an Archer offering to third man only for replays to show the speedster had over-stepped.
All the while the pair rattled along, Maxwell the aggressor with seven sixes and both men haring between the wickets to pinch extra runs and frustrate England captain Eoin Morgan.
The duo had come together amid the wreckage of another collapse. Captain Aaron Finch was the first to go, trapped lbw by Chris Woakes for 12, before Marcus Stoinis (4) failed to capitalise on a spilled chance at mid-off by Archer, chipping a Woakes slower ball to short midwicket.
Joe Root was thrown the ball by Morgan and the part-time off-spinner made his skipper's call a canny gamble, bowling David Warner (24) with a sharp-turning off-break that appeared to surprise the left-hander.
Warner finished the series with 36 runs – the lowest return for the opening batsman in a three-match series during his outstanding ODI career.
Root made it two in as many overs when he had Mitch Marsh edging onto pad, with Buttler taking a simple catch as the ball ballooned into the air.
It was at about this moment that Steve Smith's absence was being sorely felt; the right-handed run-machine again missed selection as a precaution following last week's concussion.
Australia's predicament went from precarious to perilous when Marnus Labuschagne was run-out for 20. It was the second risky run in the space of three balls between he and Carey, and on this occasion a sharp throw from Sam Billings found the Queenslander well short of his ground.
Enter Maxwell, who has in the past been criticised for his inability to pace himself through the duration of an ODI innings; perhaps the very reason such a gifted batsman finds himself at No.7 in the order.
On this occasion however, his timing was almost perfect. Arriving at the crease in the 17th over, he brought up his hundred in the 46th – an 84-ball special that included seven sixes. It was just the second century of his ODI career, his first since the 2015 World Cup, and one of the finest limited-overs hands by an Australian in recent memory. His dismissal with 18 runs still required was far from ideal but, given the outcome, will be forgiven in the washup of a remarkable win.
The performance of Carey, who had proven his class in the heat of last year's World Cup campaign in England, was not far behind that of Maxwell. The left-hander again showed himself to be a man for a crisis, and brought up his maiden hundred shortly after his partner as together they ticked off the records; Australia's highest-ever sixth-wicket stand, and their highest for any wicket against England in England.
When Carey (106) followed Maxwell back to the pavilion with just 10 runs required, it was left to Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins to do the business. Starc duly obliged, putting the icing on the Maxwell-Carey cake with a six - from his first ball - and a four in the final over to seal the success.
"I suppose coming in at 5-70, it is probably hit or bust at that stage," Maxwell said.
"If you lose another wicket in the next five or 10 overs it is pretty hard to expect the bowlers to do the job at the back.
"Once we started to build that partnership, took a couple of risks early and got away with them, I was able to ride with that momentum going forward.
"Having trust in my own technique and in my partner at the other end, myself and Alex have had some good partnerships over the last few of years and I really enjoyed batting with him at the other end.
"For that to grow into a really big partnership and get us to the point where Starcy and Cummo could get us over the line at the end was pretty awesome."
Earlier, after the visitors had been asked to bowl first, Adam Zampa's 3-51 took the leg-spinner to 10 wickets for the campaign – making him the first Australian spinner to take 10 wickets in a three-match ODI series.
Zampa's heroics had come after Starc's explosive start, in which the left-arm spearhead had removed Jason Roy and Joe Root with the opening two balls of the match.
Morgan's men recovered impressively through Bairstow and Sam Billings (57), the pair putting on a 114-run stand for the fifth wicket before Woakes (53no) powered the hosts to an imposing total.
And when Australia's top order fell apart, the match – and the series – seemed to be England's for the taking.
But such an assumption was to discount the brilliance of Maxwell and Carey.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Marcus Stoinis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
England XI: Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
2020 Tour of England
Australia's T20 and ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood. Reserves: Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. Reserves: Joe Denly, Saqib Mahmood