The scorecard: England 7-137 (Buttler 46, Richardson 3-33) lost to Australia 3-138 (Maxwell 39, Short 36*, Lynn 31) by seven wicket with 33 balls to spare.
The match in a tweet: Mighty Maxwell repeats dose after bowlers once again strangle England, as Aussies book spot in tri-series final #AUSvENG
The hero: Once again, it was Glenn Maxwell who took the game by the scruff of the neck with a well-paced and clever T20 knock. Coming off his thrilling final-ball century against the same opponents on Wednesday, the destructive right-hander took charge of this match. Along with D’Arcy Short, who played a measured knock at the other end, the pair put on 65 for third wicket. But the game-defining sequence came when the duo took the score from 2-65 at the end of the ninth over to 2-104 at the of the 11th. The two-over, 39-run blitz put to bed any doubt that Australia might fall into the same middle-overs trance England had earlier. Maxwell’s skill against spin is unrivalled in this Australia T20 side and he and Short summed up the situation expertly by reducing the required run-rate to below four after they took leg-spinner Adil Rashid’s third over for 20. From there, the result was in little doubt, despite Maxwell departing with 22 still needed.
The support cast: Australia’s bowling in this T20 tri-series has been outstanding and it was another clinical, match-winning effort from their unheralded attack on Saturday evening. The quartet of Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake and Ashton Agar had a combined 13 games of T20I cricket under their belts coming into this series and their ability to step up in the absence of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins has given selectors a genuine dilemma when they’re all available. Collectively Australia’s bowlers squeezed the life out of England; reduced to 3-34 in the Power Play, the likes of Tye, Agar and allrounder Marcus Stoinis suffocated the visitors through the middle overs. Sam Billings and Jos Buttler, two of the more inventive and explosive T20 batsmen going around, managed just 43 off 41 balls in their fifth-wicket partnership between overs 11 to 18. Richardson returned at the death to finish with the best figures (3-33 off four) after two final-over wickets but those scalps were truly the result of a miserly team-bowling effort. In their three games of this series, Australia have kept their opponents to 9-117, 9-155 and 7-137.
Lynnsanity watch: Chris Lynn will be itching to turn cameos into the kind of change game-changing knocks we’ve seen so many times in the BBL, but the Queenslander’s entertaining 19-ball 31 nonetheless put the Aussies on the path to victory. Typically associated with power hitting over the leg-side, Lynn showed another side to his game by blasting the three of his first five balls to the off-side fence. After taking 16 off one Tom Curran over, his battle with left-armer David Willey, who dismissed him in Hobart with a top-notch in-swinger, was an intriguing contest. Having claimed the early scalp of David Warner for the second time in as many games, Willey soon came around the wicket in a bid to cramp Lynn for room. The right-hander responded by clipping a low full toss for six to the long backward square leg boundary and while he was undone by quick Chris Jordan, Lynn had broken the back of the run-chase.
The run-out: Australia’s fielding in this tri-series has been top class, and David Warner’s run-out of Dawid Malan put the bar up a notch again. Malan took off straightaway after bunting one towards Warner at mid-off, but quick as a hare, Warner got to the ball, picked up and released all in one diving motion. The result was a direct hit at the non-striker’s end and Malan, well aware he’d been the victim of some outstanding fielding, continued running straight off the ground to leave England floundering at 3-34.