Welcome to the Big Show! Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey in epic stand as Aussies take series win in thriller
Australia looked dead and buried when it was reduced to 5-73 in pursuit of 303 before Carey (106) and Maxwell (108) turned the game on its head with two brilliant centuries.
Neither man was able to finish it off, but Mitchell Starc put the pressure firmly back on England by starting the final over with a staight six off Adil Rashid to leave Australia needing four runs off five balls.
From there, the game was decided.
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MATCH CENTRE: Australia vs England, third ODI live scorecard
Carey & Maxi go bananas!3:56
SERIES RATINGS: Australia’s unsung hero matches Maxwell’s magic but two superstars fail to fire a shot
Australia started its pursuit of what would be a ground record chase of 303 briskly, with Aaron Finch racing to 12 off 9 before being trapped plumb in front by Chris Woakes.
Things got hairy for Australia from there, with Marcus Stoinis (4) skewing one to midwicket before Joe Root bowled David Warner (24) with a big turner and then took Mitchell Marsh’s edge for 2. When Marnus Labuschagne was run out for 20 to leave Australia 5-73 in the 17th over, it seemed the touring side’s hopes of victory were over.
Carey and Maxwell had other ideas, putting on the third-biggest ever sixth-wicket stand in an ODI and the best ever by an Australian duo.
Aussies take amazing series3:19
Both men enjoyed fortunate lives and both men cashed in. Carey was caught for nine off what turned out to be a no-ball from Jofra Archer that would have left Australia at 6-87, while Maxwell was dropped by Jos Buttler on 44 when Australia ws 5-164.
They made England pay for those mistakes, with Maxwell scoring his first ODI ton since the 2015 World Cup and Carey his first ever.
While both men were brilliant, this win still would not have happened without Starc. The match swung right back in England’s favour after Maxwell top edged Rashid to short third man in the 48th and Carey fell to Archer on the final ball of the 49th to leave it to the bowlers to finish the job.
Needing 10 runs off the last six balls, Starc smacked the first ball of his innings and the final over straigh back over the bowler’s head for six to all but decide the game.
Earlier, England finished the first innings with 302 runs while giving up seven wickets after winning the toss.
Jonny Bairstow brought up 100 to power England to a strong total in the first innings, finishing with 112 after being bowled by Pat Cummins.
It was important that he led the counter attack too after a hot start from Mitchell Starc saw the Aussie take two wickets from the first two balls of the innings.
Bairstow formed a strong partnership with Eoin Morgan before it was broken by Adam Zampa, with the spin bowler also coming up with a big wicket to bring an end to a lethal burst between Bairstow and Sam Billings.
Billings brought up the half-century, finishing with 57 runs from 58 balls.
Warner done by Root PEACH!0:31
The pair almost saved England in the opening game of the series with a 113-run partnership.
Zampa’s other wicket came in the form of Jos Buttler as he proved his value in backing up Starc’s strong start after Josh Hazlewood and Cummins struggled for consistency.
Cummins later redeemed himself though when he stumped Bairstow, giving up just the one run in the 40th over as Australia started to restrict England’s surge of runs.
But it went downhill from there for Australia with 53 runs off the final five overs as they came to rue another late fadeout.
Starc's sizzling start0:40
England won the toss and opted to bat, but the decision immediately backfired on the hosts as Mitchell Starc ran riot in his opening over.
Starc made a stunning start when he got two wickets from just as many deliveries to stun the Poms.
The first saw Jason Roy get a thick edge to Glenn Maxwell who was in position to take the catch.
He went two from two right after when Joe Root went for lbw.
England steadied after the shaky start with Bairstow managing seven fours and a six while Morgan also settled his way into the contest with three of his own.
“Morgan and Bairstow are going berserk,” Shane Warne said in commentary for Sky Sports.
Zampa was brought in to add some spin and got an immediate impact as he got the wicket of Morgan, who was dismissed for 23.
Bairstow continued to get runs on the board for England though as he hit a half-century before the 16th over.
Shortly after Zampa bagged his second wicket when Buttler drove the spin bowler to cover with the catch taken by Aaron Finch.
His third wicket was even more crucial as he brought an end to Billings’ knock before Bairstow fell shortly after.
Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid combined for 64 runs to end the innings with the former managing 53 off 39 balls.
It left Australia chasing 302 without Steve Smith.
Smith sat out the final game of the series in a crushing blow.
“He obviously copped a knock before the first game,” Finch told Sky Sports pre-game.
“He had a really good long hit yesterday and just didn’t pull up all that well.
“He’s a little bit groggy and just not 100 per cent. Like any time you are dealing with a head injury you want to be ultra conservative and cautious.”
Eng v Aus ODI 2 highlights6:52
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