Updated: Sunday, 29th March 2020 @ 7:27am

MM's five of the best... Glenn Maxwell T20 innings

MM's five of the best... Glenn Maxwell T20 innings

| By Dan Haygarth

On Monday, Lancashire announced that big-hitting Australian Glenn Maxwell will return for this season’s T20 Blast.

Maxwell featured for the Red Rose county in all formats last season, averaging almost 50 in the T20 Blast and helping the club secure promotion from Division Two of the County Championship.

Having played 268 games in the T20 cricket, the batting all-rounder is a key part of Australia’s international side, being able to strike the ball as well as anyone in the international game and offering some handy off-spin.

As he prepares to treat the Old Trafford crowds with another season, we take a look at five of Maxwell’s finest T20 innings.

145* (65 balls) Sri Lanka v Australia, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele, 2016

Maxwell’s first hundred and highest score in the format is some of the most destructive white ball hitting that the game has ever seen.

This unbeaten innings took the touring Australians to a mammoth score of 263/3 – the third highest total in T20I history.

Opening the batting, the Victorian brought out his trademark shots from the start. With a pair of impressive reserve sweeps and a few clubbed down the ground, Maxwell reached 50 from 27 balls, before hitting the Sri Lankan attack to each corner to record a 49 ball century.

Removing his helmet to face the spin in the death overs, he then managed to go up another gear, chipping a six over deep cover before whipping three consecutive maximums into the on-side two overs later.

Maxwell carried his bat and, thanks to 14 fours and nine sixes, scored exactly 100 runs more than Travis Head, Australia’s next highest-scorer. An utterly extraordinary innings.

103* (58) Australia v England, Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 2018

After restricting England to 155 from their 20 overs, thanks in part to Maxwell’s figures of 3-10,  Australia found themselves in some trouble after losing two wickets in the first over of their chase.

In walked Maxwell at four, and he took the game away from England in breath-taking fashion. Typically belligerent from the off, he didn’t take long to get going and dispatched Chris Jordan for two fours and a huge six in the sixth over.

Characteristically sans helmet to face the spin, Maxwell thumped Adil Rashid around Bellerive, slogging into the leg side and lofting the leggie for an sublime off-side six with the shot of the innings.

He didn’t slow down, driving Australia’s run rate up and passing 50 in 30 balls.

Only one other Australian batsman got into double figures as Maxwell dragged his team to victory, continued to score boundaries with terrifying regularity.

He brought the game to its conclusion, hitting a leg-side six to take Australia over the line and his own score past 100 in a display of pure panache.

113* (55) India v Australia, M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, 2019

Virat Kohli struck an unbeaten 72 from 38 balls as India posted an impressive score of 190-4 from their twenty overs.

Yet again, the Aussies didn’t make a great start, falling to 22-2 in the fourth over. Coming in at four, Maxwell faced a similar task to his heroics in Tasmania a year earlier.

He wasted no time to get going, top-edging Jasprit Bumrah for six from his second ball, before making typically light work of the spinners, clubbing them down the ground and working them behind square with some wristy batting.

The most impressive shot from the innings was an 87 metre six, where Maxwell’s almost horizontal bat swatted the ball straight over bowler Krunal Pandya’s head and deep into the crowd.

He followed this up by sweeping and then reverse-sweeping the same bowler for two more sixes, playing to ever corner of the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Maxwell’s heroics in the middle overs meant that the tourists needed 37 runs from the last 20 balls of the innings, and he got most of them himself, helping Australia pass India’s total with two balls and seven wickets to spare.

Featuring nine sixes, chasing a high total, and facing one of the world’s finest bowling attacks, this innings was probably Maxwell’s finest in the format.

73 (46) Lancashire v Nottinghamshire, Old Trafford, Manchester, 2019

Maxwell rescued a faltering Lancashire side with this sensational knock at Old Trafford last summer.

After Alex Davies was clean-bowled with the first ball of the game, Steven Croft and Liam Livingstone followed shortly after, leaving Lancs at 23/3 at the end of the powerplay – scoring at a measly run rate of 3.83.

Maxwell took some time to get going, scoring just 18 runs from his first 20 balls and reaching 36 from 34 balls, but he accelerated from there with some brilliantly inventive batting.

He reverse-pulled Harry Gurney for an audacious four before dispatching the same bowler for a six, with a reverse-sweep that met the delivery on the full – a truly incredible cricket shot.

The shots kept coming, with the pick of them being a huge leg-side six off Imad Wasim, after some impressive footwork allowed Maxwell to thump a decent delivery over the boundary.

Dismissed in the final over for 73, Maxwell had dragged Lancs to respectability and gave them a total to defend. They just about managed it as well, winning by three runs.

83 (39) Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Stars, The Gabba, Brisbane, 2019

Returning for his first game since taking a short break from cricket to deal with mental health difficulties, Maxwell came in at five after the Stars’ top order had failed to make their mark.

Performing a rescue mission to which he is so accustomed, he hit two fours off Ben Cutting in his first over, the second being a beautifully deft cut.

Dropped on 12, the Australian international made Brisbane pay, targeting the leg side and striking the ball as cleanly as possible.

Zahir Khan and Ben Laughlin were despatched with ease before he pummelled Mitchell Swepson’s spin into the crowd.

Passing 50 in 23 balls, Maxwell then brought out the reverse-paddle, sending Cutting to the boundary again and followed it up with two massive sixes from Josh Lalor’s seam.

His wicket fell in the 20th over, but by that time, he had transformed the Stars’ innings, giving them a total that they defended successfully.

It was a masterful innings. No bowler was safe. Glenn Maxwell was back.