ICC World Cup 2015: Glenn Maxwell guides Australia to 376/9 against Sri Lanka
Sydney, March 8 (IANS) Glenn Maxwell's maiden One-Day International (ODI) century helped Australia rack up an imposing 376/9 in 50 overs against Sri Lanka in a World Cup Pool A encounter at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here on Sunday.
Maxwell's blitzkrieg knock of 102, the fastest century by an Australian in ODIs and the second fastest in World Cups, as well as two-century run partnerships between skipper Michael Clarke (68) and Steven Smith (72) and Shane Watson (67) and Maxwell helped the four-time champions to mass the highest Cup total against Sri Lanka by any team.
Australia did not start well as they lost openers Aaron Finch (24) and David Warner (9) by the ninth over to be at 41/2.
However, a 134-run third-wicket partnership between Clarke and Smith settled the innings before Maxwell and Watson went ballistic in the end to power them to this significant total.
Clarke scored his 57th half-century while Smith his fifth to give themselves a brilliant platform at 175/2 in the 31st over. However, both got out in a span of five balls which brought out Maxwell and Watson.
The duo went berserk in the death overs to smash a 160-run fifth-wicket partnership to propel the run rate.
Maxwell's 53-ball 102 included 10 boundaries and four huge sixes as he brought up his century in only 51 balls.
On the other hand, Watson, dropped from their last match due to poor form, gave a 'good' worry to the Australian management who will think twice before dropping him.
The all-rounder hammered 67 off 41 deliveries, his innings studded with seven fours and two sixes.
A nine-ball, 25-run cameo by wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin also helped Australia push their total.
The Sri Lankan bowlers did not have much to boast about as everyone who rolled their arms, apart from Lasith Malinga, gave away 6.5 or more an over. Pacers Lasith Malinga (2/59) and Thisara Perera (2/87) picked up two wickets each.
Brief scores: Australia 376/9 in 50 overs (Glenn Maxwell 102, Steven Smith 72, Michael Clarke 68; Lasith Malinga 2/59, Thisara Perera 2/87) vs Sri Lanka.