Maxwell and Shaun Marsh power Australia A to final
Australia A 310 for 7 (Marsh 96, Maxwell 93, Binny 4-55) beat India A 285 (Rohit 65, Henriques 3-24) by 25 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
India A's bowlers were clueless against Glenn Maxwell once again as he struck a whirlwind 93, to back up his 79-ball 145 on Thursday, to lead Australia A to the final of the tri-series. Set a target of 311, India failed during the chase again, after being 175 for 2 as Josh Hazlewood and Moises Henriques took three wickets apiece to seal a 25-run win.
Maxwell spearheaded a 139-run stand with Shaun Marsh, who composed a solid 96, that set up the 300-plus total. It could have been a lot more had seamer Stuart Binny not nabbed three wickets in three overs to deny Maxwell and Marsh their centuries and slow down Australia.
Having chosen to bat, Australia's openers enjoyed their second fifty-plus stand of the series before left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem bowled Aaron Finch off his fifth ball of the match. Nic Maddinson added 41 with Marsh but fell soon after reaching double figures to offspinner Parvez Rasool. With a foundation set, Maxwell signalled his intent early, striking Rasool for consecutive fours in the 28th and 30th overs before carting Rohit Sharma's only over of the match for 19 runs on his way to his half-century.
Maxwell's onslaught continued as he raced toward a century, smashing Nadeem for three fours in the 35th over. Marsh, having held Australia's innings together so long, also opened up slamming Siddarth Kaul for 16 runs in three balls.
But Binny instigated a turnaround, knocking back the stumps of both Marsh and Maxwell in the nineties and then Henriques' for a duck. Maxwell had struck 12 fours and three sixes and Marsh while matching the sixes count. Binny's burst, 4 for 23 in his third spell, wasn't enough to keep Australia below 300 as Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Marsh plundered 60 off the last 34 balls.
India laid a solid foundation for the chase, with the openers Rohit Sharma and M Vijay, who took Shikhar Dhawan's place for this game, scoring half-centuries. Rohit's 58-ball 61 kept India within sight of the asking-rate but his run-out in the 15th over put pressure on Vijay, who had 16 from 32 balls. He opened up, eventually matching Rohit's seven boundaries to go with a six off Maxwell. But Vijay, in an attempt to keep up with a required-rate that had swelled to seven, holed out for 60. India were 157 for 2, with over 21 overs and eight wickets left to get the remaining 144 runs.
Cheteshwar Pujara struck his first half-century of the series but became one of two wickets in the 37th over as Josh Hazlewood tipped the game in Australia's favour. Ambati Rayudu did his best to tackle an equation which had risen to nine-an-over, but Hazlewood struck again, removing him for 32 off 28 balls. Needing 60 off six overs, Rasool and Kaul, the ninth-wicket pair, hit 24 in 14 balls but Henriques had Kaul caught behind before picking up the last man Nadeem.
The defeat means India need to win their next match against South Africa A to qualify for the final.