Maxwell's blazing ton leads Australia into knockouts

All-rounder hits his maiden ODI century off 51 deliveries as Sri Lanka are beaten by 64 runs.

    Maxwell hit 10 fours and four sixes [Reuters]
    Maxwell hit 10 fours and four sixes [Reuters]

    Australia stormed into the World Cup quarter-finals with a 64-run victory over Sri Lanka, fired by a spectacular maiden ODI century from Glenn Maxwell at the SCG.

    Top-5 ODI run-scorers
    Sachin Tendulkar (India) - 18,426
    Kumar Sangakkara (SL) - 14,065
    Ricky Ponting (Aus) - 13,704
    Sanath Jayasuriya (SL) - 13,430
    Mahela Jayawardene (SL) - 12,644

    Sri Lanka signalled that they are also in fine form for the knockout stages by having a good crack at what would have been a record run-chase with Kumar Sangakkara becoming the first man to score three successive centuries at a World Cup.

    They were always up against it after Maxwell's 53-ball 102 had helped Australia to 376-9, however, and it is the co-hosts who are now almost certain to finish second in Pool A and avoid champions India or South Africa in the quarter-finals.

    On a night when the 40,000 crowd were thrilled by a feast of batting, it was Maxwell's deployment of the full array of shots in his prodigious armoury that proved decisive.

    His hundred came off 51 balls, just one shy of the record for the quickest World Cup century, and he shared a 160-run partnership with Shane Watson, who hit 67 to celebrate his recall to the team.

    Visit Al Jazeera's 2015 Cricket World Cup page for news, updates, features and comment pieces

    Steve Smith (72) and skipper Michael Clarke (68) had earlier steadied the innings with a partnership of 134 after openers David Warner (nine) and Aaron Finch (24) had been dismissed inside the first 10 overs.

    Later, Sangakkara became only the second player after Sachin Tendulkar to score 14,000 runs in ODIs and was not going to be denied his century, which he reached in as many balls with two runs to backward square.

    He departed soon afterwards for 104, leaving Dinesh Chandimal, who hit 52 off 24 balls before retiring hurt, and Angelo Mathews (35) to lead the rearguard action.

    They were finally dismissed for 312 after 46.2 overs.

    Scorecard:

    Australia 376-9 in 50 overs (Maxwell 102, Malinga 2-59)

    Sri Lanka 312 all out in 46.2 overs (Sangakkara 104, Faulkner 3-48)

    SOURCE: Reuters


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