Maxwell fires Australia to world record 263 to win T20 against SL

Pallekele (Sri Lanka)—Opener Glenn Maxwell fired a blistering 145 not out as Australia posted a world record 263 against a hapless Sri Lankan attack in the first Twenty20 international in Pallekele on Tuesday and lift his side to a comfortable 85-run win.In 90 minutes of outlandish clean-striking, Glenn Maxwell marked a monumental return to form, sent Sri Lanka into freefall, and stole their T20I world record from under their noses.
The scorecard says he hit nine sixes in his 65-ball 145 not out, but it felt like he had hit so many more. It says there were 14 fours in this Maxwell mauling, but so quickly did they come, one after the other, that who is to tell when one boundary ended and another began? It was a blur of bludgeoned sweeps, of wallops down the ground and, occasionally, of enterprising strokes behind the wicket. Australia made 263 for 3. This is the highest-equal T20 score, in addition to being the biggest score in T20 internationals, beating the 260 Sri Lanka had hit against Kenya.
Maxwell had opened the innings in place of the injured Aaron Finch, and he quickly set about knocking Sri Lanka’s bowlers out of shape. So battered were they by the end of the Powerplay, in which Australia had cracked 73 for 1, that they soon became helplessly complicit in Maxwell’s plunder. Thigh-high full tosses were sent down with masochistic abandon. Errors bred further errors in the outfield. In the 18th over, a catch was dropped, though that was off Travis Head, who was the second-highest scorer with 45 off 18 balls. Each of Sri Lanka’s five main bowlers conceded at least 12.75 per over.
The hosts’ batting went much better, though they were never really in the hunt. The top three fell cheaply, but Dinesh Chandimal hit 58 off 43 and Chamara Kapugedera 43 off 25. Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland took three wickets apiece, as Sri Lanka finished on 178 for 9 – 86 runs short of the 264-run target.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss in Pallekele and chose to field for the first time in the tour. Among Sri Lanka’s other firsts of the tour was the selection of two specialist seam bowlers. Both Ka-sun Rajitha – who has only played two internationals – and Suranga Lakmal, were named in the XI.
Sachithra Senanayake was the frontline spin option, with the finger spin of Sachith Pathirana, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dhananjaya de Silva in support. Thisara Perera also got a game, as did batsman Chamara Kapugedera. Neither John Hastings, who was penetrative during the ODIs, nor Matthew Wade, who contributed with the bat during that series, were picked in Australia’s XI.—AFP

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