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Maxwell magic helps Aust to big ODI total

Glenn Maxwell has produced an exhilarating knock to rescue Australia’s one-day hopes against England and blast his way into the reckoning for next month’s Test tour of Bangladesh.

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The explosive allrounder came to the crease with England well on top, after David Willey (3-51) had once again exposed Australia’s inability to play the swinging ball by tearing the top order apart and reducing the tourists to 3-30.

Maxwell, firmly in the frame to be picked in Australia’s 15-man squad for the two-Test tour, immediately set about wresting the momentum back and laying the platform for Australia’s total of 7-299 with an outstanding 64-ball 85.

The 26-year-old made the most of his luck, having been dropped on six and again on 35, to put on a vital 137-run partnership with George Bailey (75 from 110) to lift Australia out of the mire.

Maxwell produced his full array of conventional and unconventional shots, hitting a pair of booming sixes off Adil Rashid, while his first ball faced from offspinner Moeen Ali was reverse-swept for four.

He ultimately fell to the same shot, bowled around his legs by Ali while attempting one reverse too many.

But his innings put Australia in a position to kill off the series, which they lead 2-1, and formed the bedrock of building a defendable total.

His partner in crime, Bailey, played the anchor role and allowed Maxwell to take on England’s bowlers while building towards a third ODI century – which ultimately eluded him.

Australia’s quest for a score in excess of 300 was hurt by the twin dismissals of Mitch Marsh (17) and Bailey in the same over to Liam Plunkett (2-47).

That brought debutant Marcus Stoinis to the crease but, chasing quick runs, he too fell while attempting a reverse sweep – only managing to find the hands of Rashid to be dismissed for four.

Stoinis’ exit completed a mini-collapse of 3-1 in just 10 balls to briefly halt Australia’s progress, before Matthew Wade (50 off 26) and John Hastings added an unbeaten 84 for the eighth wicket with a flurry of boundaries in the dying overs.

The big-hitting Hastings, called into the team to give fellow paceman Mitchell Starc a well-earned rest, clubbed two sixes and three fours in an entertaining cameo of 34.

Not to be outdone, Wade produced several unbelievable scoop shots – including one off Mark Wood in the final over which went for one of his three sixes.

Earlier, Australia crumbled in the opening power play as Willey had the ball moving in helpful conditions to remove Australia’s top three in quick time.

Joe Burns chopped on for two, while captain Steve Smith fell lbw to a full and straight delivery for five and powerful opener Aaron Finch was caught behind for 15.

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