Fear-creating batsman Glen Maxwell rode in like a predator on the loose as he led Australia to an earth shattering victory in the first T20 cricket International under floodlights at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy on Tuesday night after making an all-time record total of 263.
Dropped from the Australian ODI team due to a slump in form, Maxwell made a devastating return to the crease as he reduced the Sri Lankan bowlers to mere chicken feed with a bludgeoning innings of 145 not out in just 65 balls sending nine of them by way of sixes into the packed crowd.
All the Sri Lankan bowlers and fielders could do was watch Maxwell hit the ball anywhere he wished as he played many of his run-making shots switching from right to left-hander for the entire duration of the 20 overs.
In the process Sri Lanka had to relinquish her record score of 260 for 6 made against Kenya in 2007 which remained the highest international total in a T20 innings until Maxwell unleashed his wrath in an intimidating appearance.
Maxwell’s onslaught first gave Australia 110 runs in the first 10 overs and 153 in the last 10 overs that included 14 sixes and 25 fours in all.
Sri Lanka needed a Maxwell-like effort and much more to overhaul their opponents. But their graveyard had already been dug as both openers Tillekeratne Dilshan (4) and Kusal Perera (4) perished under the might of Australia’s monumental score.
Australia 263 for 3 in 20 overs (Glen Maxwell 145 not out, David Warner 28, Usman Kawaja 36, Travis Head 45)
Sri Lanka 178 for 9 in 20 overs (Kusal Mendis 22, Dinesh Chandimal 58, Chamara Kapugedera 43, Mitchell Starc 3 for 26, Scot Boland 3 for 26)