Australia make 376/9 against Sri Lanka

Australia make 376/9 against Sri Lanka

All-rounder Glenn Maxwell led a brutal Australian assault with his maiden ODI hundred as the four-time champions posted a mammoth 376 for nine against a hapless Sri Lanka side in a pool A match of the ICC cricket World Cup here today.

Besides Maxwell's swashbuckling 53-ball 102, which was the second fastest World Cup hundred, the Australian scorecard was studded with three fluent half-centuries in a formidable middle-order batting performance.

Maxwell got to the three-figure mark in just 51 balls, just one short of the World Cup record held by Ireland's Kevin O'Brien.

Skipper Michael Clarke (68), Steve Smith (72) and Shane Watson (67) showed rampaging form during the course of their fifties as Australia sent the Lankans on a leather hunt in front of a packed house.

For the hapless Lankans, pace spearhead Lasith Malinga was the only bowler to hold his own with figures of 2/59 in his quota of 10 overs.

The Aussies, left rattled by a one-wicket loss to New Zealand in their previous match, came out all guns blazing today and even though explosive opener David Warner (9) was out early, the hosts simply decimated the Lankan bowling.

The assault started with Clarke and Smith combining for a 134-run third-wicket stand during which the skipper's confident demeanour put to rest any speculation regarding his fitness after a hamstring surgery, which had created doubts about his participation in the World Cup.

While Smith smashed seven fours and a six during his 88-ball stay in the middle, Clarke struck half a dozen fours and a six in his 68-ball knock.

This was followed by a brutal assault by Maxwell, during which the imposing all-rounder whacked 10 fours and four sixes, completely taking the wind out Sri Lanka's sail.
The ferocity and disdain with which he hit the islanders all over the park had the packed stadium on its feet even as the Lankans scurried for cover.

He shared a 160-run fifth-wicket stand with fellow all-rounder Watson, who roared back to form after a prolonged wretched run with the bat, striking seven fours and a couple of sixes in a 41-ball effort.

For the Lankans, Thisara Perera also picked up a couple of wickets in his nine overs but they cost a whopping 87 runs.

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