Out-of-favour all-rounder Glenn Maxwell took centre stage as Australia blasted the highest Twenty20 international score of 263 for three in an 85-run win over Sri Lanka in Pallekele.
Maxwell blasted an unbeaten 145 from 65 balls just a day after he was overlooked for Australia’s upcoming one-day international tour of South Africa.
Maxwell, 27, was playing his first game on tour, and was only drafted into the opener’s role after Aaron Finch suffered a broken finger during the recently concluded one-day series.
Maxwell made the most of his chance, piling up nine sixes, as he narrowly fell short of his former housemate Finch’s individual record score of 156, scored against England at the Ageas Bowl three years ago.
Travis Head weighed in with 45 from 18 balls as he and Maxwell put on 109 from 40 balls.
“It was a little bit instinctive,” Maxwell said in a pitchside interview.
“I tried to hit my areas based on the field. I have been playing really well in the T20 format. At the top is an easier place to bat.
“I find the reverse sweep easier to play [than the sweep] and I was lucky to take advantage of some loose bowling.”
Australia’s record total came just over a week after England racked up the highest one-day international score of 444 for three against Pakistan at Trent Bridge. Sri Lanka had held both records.
Captain Dinesh Chandimal’s 58 was the top score in Sri Lanka’s reply as they managed 178 for nine.
The defeat was Sri Lanka’s heaviest in Twenty20 cricket in terms of runs, beating the 81-run defeat they suffered when they last lost to Australia in the format six years ago.
“I’m really disappointed with the way we bowled,” Chandimal said. The second and final match of the T20 series is in Colombo on Friday.
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