Australia register record-breaking win after Maxwell blitz
Australia 263-3 (Maxwell 145no) beat
Sri Lanka 178-9 (Chandimal 58) by 86 runs
First Twenty20 International, Pallekele
Riding on Glenn Maxwell’s unbeaten 145, Australia posted a record total of 263 runs and restricted Sri Lanka to 178 for nine, registering a massive 86-run win in the first Twenty20 International in Pallekele.
In the chase, Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera played fluent knocks but the score board pressure meant that the home side eventually succumbed to their heaviest defeat in the T20I format.
Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to field first. Sri Lanka started steadily by conceding only 14 runs in the first two overs. But the onslaught began in the third over when David Warner (28) smashed four consecutive boundaries.
Maxwell, got off to a decent start and took Australia past the 50 in just 4.1 overs. Warner was castled by Sachithra Senanayake (1-49).
Maxwell struck three fours in the next over to take Australia to 73 for one in the powerplay. After going past a 27-ball fifty, Maxwell took charge of Australia’s innings and added 97-runs for the second wicket with Usman Khawaja (36).
From 110 for one at the half-way mark, Australia lost Khawaja but raced away to 178 for two by the end of the 15th over thanks to Maxwell’s blistering hitting.
In the 16th over, Maxwell completed his maiden T20I century and followed it up with two fours and four sixes in the next two overs.
Travis Head (45) took over the mantle towards the death and smashed an 18-ball 45 and shared a 109-run stand with Maxwell for the third wicket.
Overall, Head struck three sixes and four boundaries while Maxwell smashed nine sixes and 14 fours in his knock. Australia posted a total of 263 for three, setting the record for the highest score in T20Is.
Facing an uphill task, Sri Lanka were rattled early with the loss of Tillakaratne Dilshan (4) and Kusal Perera (4) in the first two overs.
However, Chandimal (58) counterattacked with four boundaries in the next two overs. Dhananjaya de Silva (12) attempted a scoop shot but was bowled in the fifth over as Sri Lanka scored 56 for three in the powerplay.
Australia pegged things back by removing Kusal Mendis (22) in the eighth over as Sri Lanka were restricted to 93 for four at the half-way mark.
Sri Lanka slipped further as they lost Thisara Perera (7) in the 11th over but Kapugedera (43) and Chandimal gave the team a momentary hope with a 44-run stand but the asking rate kept climbing at an exponential rate.
Chandimal completed a fifty but Sri Lanka needed 127 runs from the last 30 balls. Chandimal and Sachith Pathirana (2) were sent back to the hut in the 16th over and despite the best efforts of Kapugedera, Sri Lanka only managed 178 for nine, suffering an 85-run loss - their biggest defeat in T20Is.
Maxwell was the man of the match as Australia took a 1-0 unassailable lead.
© Cricket World 2016