HOBART: After being contentiously omitted from Australia’s team for the one-day global series which England won 4-1, Maxwell re-emphasized his allround value in the shortest format with his second consecutive match-winning performance.
That proved the trigger for England to slump badly, as Australia took 6-43 and threatened to skittle the tourists.
Maxwell also survived a controversial moment, where a Jason Roy claimed catch that would have dismissed the batsman on 59 was overturned by the third umpire.
But Maxwell stood his ground and although umpire Gerald Abood’s soft signal was out, the television umpire deemed Roy did not complete the catch.
At the start of the 19th over, Australia needed two runs to win and Maxwell needed three runs for his century.
Australia’s spinners Ashton Agar and Glenn Maxwell did much of the damage and returned a collective five for 25.
At the height of the collapse England lost six for 33 between the 10th and 16th overs.
Kane Richardson (1-27) began the damage by removing risky opener Jason Roy for nine, before Malan hit his lively half-century.
Earlier, Dawid Malan top scored for his team with 50 as England made a solid start, ably supported by Hales (22) and captain Eoin Morgan (22).
Roy has recovered well from back spasms and has been batting normally in the nets, while the hand injury Hales sustained when dropping a catch in the final match of the one-day series has settled well.
An economical Agar finished with 2-15 from three overs including a remarkable caught and bowled off his first ball.
Malan was caught in the deep by Andrew Tye for Maxwell’s second wicket and David Willey (3) was dismissed next ball to give Alex Carey his first worldwide stumping.
Adil Rashid (1) got the toe end of the bat on a shot off paceman Billy Stanlake and was well caught by Stoinis, while Tom Curran (6) was well held by a back-pedalling Warner after failing to pick Tye’s knuckle ball.
Maxwell hit a six from Mark Wood’s bowling with the scores tied to go from 97 to 103 and to carry Australia to 161-5 in reply to England’s 155-9, a win with nine balls remaining.