Glenn Maxwell scores 102 of 53 balls as Australia defeats Sri Lanka by 64 runs. After Steven Smith and Michael Clarke set a solid platform with a well-constructed century stand. Glenn Maxwell used his willow like a magic wand to thwack Sri Lanka’s bowlers to all corners of the ground and take them to a mammoth total on the board. Maxwell scored the second fastest century in World Cups. However, his ton turned out to be the fastest century for Australia in ODIs. It was also Maxwell’s first hundred in ODI.
Earlier, Sri Lanka started on a good note, as Lasith Malinga generated a bit of away swing and deceived David Warner with a slower one to dismiss him. Aaron Finch, in an attempt to up the ante, looked to use his feet but was stumped off Seekkuge Prasanna’s bowling.
However, Clarke and Smith helped Australia to make a smart recovery. Both of them looked to milk the spinners with nimble wrists and by playing late. It was about smothering the spin on the front foot to shorten the length before looking to take advantage of the short delivery. Smith then completed a fine fifty. Clarke, who has been short of match practice in recent times, followed him by notching up a well-measured fifty too.
However, Malinga and Tillakaratne Dilshan landed crucial blows to give Sri Lanka genuine hope of coming back into the game. Unfortunately for them, Maxwell shut the door, with those meaty blows.
Despite Kumar Sangakkara playing with fizz and sparkle and composing a brilliant ton, Australia held their nerve in a high scoring game to win the match. Sangakkara rose up to the occasion of facing a fine pace attack and smashed a flurry of shots to unnerve the opposition.
Tillakaratne Dilshan also came out all guns blazing by landing hefty blows to thump Mitchell Johnson for six boundaries in one over. Even after James Faulkner dismissed Dilshan for 62, Sangakkara threaded through the gaps at will to deal in boundaries.
It was Faulkner, who yet again made an impact by snaring the important wicket of Sangakkara. However, Sri Lanka didn’t give up as Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews continued to mercilessly clout the opposition. Xavier Doherty, the slow left-arm orthodox, was hammered for 19 runs in the 37th over of the innings. As the ball kept on ricocheting off the boundary boards, there were worried faces in the Australian camp.
Chandimal even reached his fifty in just 22 balls, but he started to struggle with cramps and had to sadly retire hurt. Shane Watson took the crucial wicket of Mathews with a short delivery and that was the decisive blow which ended Sri Lanka’s chances of chasing down the target. The only thing missing in the Lankan line-up was a “Maxwell”! 😀
Faulkner deserves a lot of credit for the way he mixed it up and Mitchell Starc kept it tight. Watson and Johnson picked up crucial wickets. The pacers also used the short ball to good effect. However, the Australian camp perhaps won’t be happy with the fact that they missed a few run outs.
Glenn Maxwell was adjudged man of the match for his blistering knock.
Australia 376 for 9 in 50 overs
Sri lanka 312 for 9 in 46.2 overs