A surprise decision to move Glenn Maxwell up the order has resulted in a record-breaking total for Australia in the opening Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka – and one of the greatest innings in the format’s history.
Maxwell, promoted to an opening role, plundered 14 fours and nine sixes in an incredible 145 not out off just 65 balls as the Aussies reached 3/263 at Pallekele, knocking Sri Lanka’s 6/260 against Kenya in 2007 off the top spot.
— ICC (@ICC) September 6, 2016
The hosts, ruing a slew of dropped chances in the field, could only muster 9/178 in their chase to succumb by 85 runs.
Australian captain David Warner made a quick-fire 28 off 16 before departing in the fifth over, while No.3 Usman Khawaja (36 off 22) shared in a 97-run stand with the explosive Maxwell.
Travis Head produced an outstanding 45 off 18, falling on the last ball of the innings after he and Maxwell put on 109 off the previous 39 deliveries. All of Sri Lanka’s bowlers copped a hammering as the tourists racked up a run-rate of 13.15, with Kasun Rajitha (0/46 off three overs) and Thisara Perera (1/58 off four) receiving the roughest treatment.
— James Pavey (@jamespavey_) September 6, 2016
Sri Lanka’s chase was virtually over inside two overs, with Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland removing both openers. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal top-scored with 58 off 43, while Chamara Kapugedera chipped in with 43 off 25.
Starc and Boland finished with identical figures of 3/26 off four overs.
The second and final T20I encounter will take place at Colombo on Friday.