All-rounder Glenn Maxwell starred with the bat before Mitchell Johnson wreaked havoc with the ball in Australia’s 112-run win over England in Sunday’s Tri-Series final at the WACA Ground.
Maxwell crunched 95 off 98 balls to help lift Australia from a wobbly 4-60 to a formidable 8-278 in front of 12,508 fans.
Johnson, playing his first match of the series, then snared the top-order wickets of James Taylor, Moeen Ali and Eoin Morgan to help skittle England for 166 in 39.1 overs.
Maxwell followed up his batting heroics with four lower-order scalps to finish with a career-best 4-46 in a memorable display that will boost his chances of nailing down a starting World Cup berth.
But it wasn’t all good news for Australia.
All-rounder James Faulkner was forced from the field midway through his third over with what appeared to be a side strain.
And stand-in skipper George Bailey’s form slump hit a new low when the 32-year-old made just two off 17 balls before fending a catch to short leg.
Bailey has scored just 74 runs in his past seven innings, placing him at risk of being squeezed out of Australia’s preferred XI for the World Cup.
Maxwell combined with Mitch Marsh (60 off 68 balls) for a match-winning 141-run stand, before Faulkner powered home Australia’s advantage with a brutal and unbeaten 50 off just 24 balls.
Johnson brutalised England’s batsmen during the last Ashes series, and he was again the tormentor on Sunday.
The 33-year-old removed Taylor in his first over, before producing a double-wicket maiden in his second over to leave England reeling at 4-46.
Ravi Bopara survived Johnson’s hat-trick attempt, but by then the damage had already been done as Maxwell joined in on the wicket-taking party to ensure a cruisy victory.
Earlier, Maxwell produced his usual array of unorthodox strokes as he approached triple figures.
But his blistering knock came undone when he went for one slog too many and skied an easy catch.
Marsh was also on track for a big score, but he was run out in 44th over after he and Brad Haddin attempted a sneaky second run.
Paceman Chris Woakes copped some major punishment, especially at the death.
In the penultimate over of the innings, Woakes conceded 24 runs as Faulkner unleashed with three sixes and a four.
Faulkner cracked a huge six over mid-wicket on the final ball of the innings to bring up his half-century.