Only half of his performance was trademark Glenn Maxwell, but the gun all-rounder produced an instrumental game to lift Australia to victory in the fourth T20 against Sri Lanka.
The Melbourne Stars captain shone at the MCG as Australia cruised to a six-wicket win with 1.5 overs remaining, accounting for Sri Lanka’s 139 as they took a 4-0 series lead.
Maxwell’s vintage best was on show when he executed a superb run-out in the 11th over of Sri Lanka’s innings, charging in from long-on and shattering the stumps as the two men in the middle attempted a second run.
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“You don’t pick Maxwell out because he can do that to you,” said batting great Mark Waugh on Fox Cricket.
Maxwell was then crucial to Australia’s chase, batting at four and making an unbeaten 48 runs from 39 balls.
The 33-year-old did away with his distinctive blistering run-rate in the knock, manoeuvring the ball around the field with poise and striking just three boundaries.
“We know the power he’s got, we know the innovation he’s got, we know he’s a 360-degree player, but I was impressed with just the way he played,” said leg-spin legend Shane Warne.
“He summed up the game (and) what he needed to do to get the team over the line. He did it beautifully.
“Sure, we saw the odd great shot … but mainly it was a smart innings, and he did what he had to do.”
Maxwell and four-game rookie Josh Inglis combined for a 71-run partnership to rescue Australia from the wobbles.
Earlier in the night Sri Lanka had hamstrung themselves in a dreadful collapse, losing 6-12 between the 16th and 19th overs.
They belted 17 runs off the final over of their innings and began their defence of a meagre total in promising fashion, Australia stumbling to 3-49.
But the hosts rallied and the six-wicket win was iced by a crushing Maxwell pull shot for four.
Australia will shoot for a 5-0 series clean-sweep when they meet Sri Lanka at the MCG on Sunday.
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