CRICKET: Australia Sets New T20 Record Score
Cricket’s great entertainer Glenn Maxwell guided Australia to a world record and almost claimed another for himself in Tuesday night’s 85-run win over Sri Lanka.
Sent in to bat, Australia scored 3-263 which beat the previous mark for a Twenty20 International of 6-260 set by Sri Lanka against Kenya in 2007.
Maxwell’s unbeaten 145 off 65 deliveries fell 11 runs shy of equalling fellow Australian Aaron Finch’s world record of 156.
It was also the first century by a batsman in his maiden innings as an opener in a T20 International. The only setback for Maxwell was he couldn’t regain the strike for the last four balls of the innings and was stranded on 145. Nicknamed “The Big Show”, Maxwell’s 49-ball hundred was only the third century by an Australian in a T20 International.
The Victorian right-hander hit 14 fours and nine sixes, cashing in on a woeful bowling display by the home side at Pallekele Stadium near Kandy. Finch, who was not playing in Tuesday’s game because of a broken finger, wore a cheeky grin on the sidelines when Travis Head hit two fours and six from the third, fourth and fifth balls of the 20th over. Head was out from the last ball for 45 after sharing a spectacular 109-run stand with Maxwell off 40 deliveries. Overlooked for the July-August Test series in Sri Lanka and dropped from the one-day squad, Maxwell had a point to prove in the 20-over format. The former Australian T20 International player of the year was caught at deep-midwicket on 76 but the fieldsman’s foot touched the boundary as Maxwell racked up his fifth six of the innings. After reaching his maiden T20 International hundred in the 16th over, Maxwell smashed three consecutive sixes off the bowling of spinner Sachithra Senanayake in the next over. With regular opener Finch unavailable, Finch’s former housemate Maxwell has given notice that the role is the perfect fit for his talents. Sri Lanka in reply lost both openers in the first two overs. Captain Dinesh Chandimal holed out to deep-square leg for a fine 58 at 6-138 which made Sri Lanka’s task very much an uphill one. Pacemen Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland both took 3-26 for Australia as Sri Lanka was restricted to 9-178. The second and final match of the series will be played in Colombo on Friday night.
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Glenn Maxwell stars in Australia’s big win over Sri Lanka.