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Glenn Maxwell’s Blitz Send Sri Lanka on Back Foot in 1st T20I

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Glenn Maxwell’s Blitz Send Sri Lanka on Back Foot in 1st T20I

September 08
04:58 2016

ausNew Delhi, Thursday, September 8 – There have been quite a lot of occasions when a few players played spellbinding knocks, taking everyone by surprise and making their team stand strong in the competition against the rivals. A similar picture was visible a couple of days ago when Glenn Maxwell’s blitz in just 65 deliveries snatched away all possibility from Sri Lanka to bounce back.

The first match of the T20 series held on Tuesday at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele amid loud cheers. Support for the home side was indubitably huge but that did not work for them as strategies couldn’t be implemented as planned since opener Maxwell arrived on the crease with a totally different mood. Early breakthroughs were certainly eyed but nothing can be done if someone is confident to make the difference.

Dinesh Chandimal led Sri Lankan squad that had Sachith Pathirana, Chamara Kapugedera, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Mendis. At the same time, Dasun Shanaka, Seekkuge Prasanna and Milinda Siriwardana sat on bench to observe all happenings of the match. On the other hand, Australian Playing XI comprised captain David Warner, Usman Khawaja, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Peter Nevill, James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc, Scott Boland and Adam Zampa. Those to sit on bench were John Hastings and Matthew Wade.

Possibility of witnessing amazing show existed as objective was to be victorious in the end. If truth be told then the hosts were aware with the fact that it will be tough to beat the Aussies in the shortest format but they would have hardly dreamt that it is going to be in such ruthless manner. Notable performances in 20-20 over match helped the tourist start the journey positively and move ahead in the same mood. Captaincy of David Warner was of enormous importance.  The decision to send Maxwell to open innings for Australia alone did the entire difference. When Maxwell and Warner arrived on the crease, runs started to accumulate in ideal pace. Despite the fact that stint of Warner wasn’t long as Senanayake got his wicket when 5th over was in progress, he scored 28 runs off 16 balls, together with five boundaries.

Usman Khawaja was the next man in when the opening batsman was dismissed. Home conditions were supposed to be an advantage for Sri Lankan side but that didn’t work in their favour at all. Khawaja also played a knock of 36 runs in 22 balls, together with a couple of fours and sixes before Sachith Pathirana  got his wicket. Sri Lankan captain Chandimal was eagerly waiting for Maxwell’s wicket and tried different bowling options but nothing worked. Travis Head made stress to creep in for Sri Lanka by playing an astounding innings of 45 runs in 18 balls. His knock included four 4s and three sixes. T Perera got his wicket on the final ball of Australian innings.

The 27-year-old right-handed batsman Maxwell was not out at 145 runs. His innings was studded with 14 classy 4s and nine beautiful sixes. A humongous score of 263 runs were put on the scoreboard for the loss of three wickets. The hosts wanted to be victorious and poured efforts in a way that could take them near to the goal. Exact prediction of the outcome isn’t possible in the game of cricket but since a mammoth total was put by Australians, it was easy to foresee who is going to be on the elated side. Sachithra Senanayake, Thisara Perera and Sachith Pathirana got one wicket each, while Dhananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal and Kasun Rajitha did not get any. Wickets were lost by Sri Lanka in a short span of time when they came to bat.

Players from the home side wished to pocket runs when Sri Lanka and Australia battled against each other in the shortest format. The way of scoring is certainly different in the One day International and T20 matches as cricketers try to opt for being superfast in going for boundaries and sixes. With high possibility of seeing some fresh talent, the fans supporting Sri Lankan squad kept praying for success. But hopes suddenly shattered when Kusal Perera lost his wicket to Boland and Tillakaratne Dilshan to Starc at a score of 4. Two wickets were lost in two overs post totalling 15 runs. Sri Lankan were certainly under the pump.

Dhananjaya de Silva with captain Dinesh Chandimal showed some hope by hitting a few runs. But before they grew a partnership, Faulkner bowled a delivery that sent de Silva back to the pavilion. 12 runs off 8 balls, together with a four, were score of the top order batsman. Chandimal now carried on eyeing partnership from others while making sure to get as many as runs possible in that tough situation. Kusal Mendis knew it very well what was expected from him. His knock of 22 runs in 13 balls, along with two sixes and fours, was enough to say that he was aware of the fact that scoring runs in speed was required. But Henriques did not let him get success in his objective. Maxwell did not make any mistake in reaching under the ball on the right time and giving a reason to his teammates sniff a big margin victory on the opponents.

Thisara Perera lost his wicket to Zampa at a score of 7 in 7 balls. His innings consisted of a boundary. Chamara Kapugedera opted for being speedy in terms of attaining runs. Chandimal might have heaved a sigh of relief but it was clear in mind of Sri Lankan players that reaching to the target has now turned impossible. The 26-year-old right-handed batsman was dismissed by Boland post scoring 58 runs in 43 deliveries, with the help of six boundaries and a biggie. Sachith Pathirana lost his wicket to the same man after adding a couple of runs in the team’s total score. Starc was back on attack and got wicket of Kapugedera, who played an innings of 43 in 25 balls (4 x 3 and 6 x 3). Suranga Lakmal succumbed to Starc’s wonderful delivery. He scored 1 run of 2 balls.

Sachithra Senanayake was not out at 6 runs (4 x 1) and Kasun Rajitha at a zero when Australia won the match. For the loss of nine wickets, only 178 runs could be scored, inclusive of 19 extras by Australian bowling lineup. Starc and Boland got three wickets each, while Zampa, Faulkner and Henriques made one dismissal each. Maxwell did not get any wicket but his magical innings with bat was adequate to keep Australian on a happy side. People got to witness his blitz, which was the base for Aussies success as they won by 85 runs. Player of the Match award was given to Glenn Maxwell for his spellbinding ton.

A few cricketers showed determination to shine and contributed as much as possible from their end. If the same sort of passion carries on driving them in future as well, there may be a chance that they leave a remarkable impression on the minds of the viewers. The Aussies have been into terrific form by the time One Day Internationals series began. Warner will definitely try to lead the boys from front in remaining T20 match, which is to be played at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday, September 9. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, would wish to end tournament through a way that could give supporters something to cheer. The hosts won Test series, while the visitors lifted up the trophy of ODI series. Now, the travellers are leading T20 series 1-0. They would love to fly back home by sealing series of the shortest format too. But that may not be as easy as it may sound since opponents will give their best to level series.

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