Glenn Maxwell delighted with ton in Australia’s second intra-squad match

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Glenn Maxwell admitted it felt good to spend time in the middle again after he scored 108 in Australia’s second intra-squad match at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday.

The 31-year-old, who played for Hampshire earlier in his career, put on 170 for the third wicket with Marcus Stoinis to help a Cummins XI chase down 250 against a Finch XI.

He struck 11 fours and two maximums in his 114-ball knock and – while his usual-explosive batting was on display at times – the all-rounder played largely in a measured fashion.

Maxwell last represented his country on October 30 against Sri Lanka in a Twenty20 international before a day later it was announced he would take a break from all forms of cricket due to mental health reasons.

After some time off and then the subsequent impact of the coronavirus pandemic, he is raring to go ahead of next month’s white-ball series against England.

“It was nice to be back in the colours and out there playing some cricket,” Maxwell told Cricket Australia.

“I suppose it has been a long time since I’ve had a wicket or any time out in the middle so to make the most of that early in the tour is a nice way to start.”

Stoinis also impressed for the Cummins XI with 87, but Steve Smith lasted only eight balls in his first knock since March.

The chase could have been easier had Andrew Tye not hit a maiden half-century for the Finch XI and put on 106 for the seventh wicket with Mitchell Starc, who added 41.

After David Warner hit 34 at the top of the order, Aaron Finch’s side collapsed to 113 for six before the two fast bowlers rescued them and set 250 for victory.

David Warner hit three fours and one six in his 34 for the Finch XI in Australia's second intra-squad match
David Warner hit three fours and one six in his 34 for the Finch XI in Australia’s second intra-squad match (Nigel French/PA)

Stoinis picked up four for 31 and then scored all around the wicket, reaching fifty off 37 balls with several maximums in Hampshire.

Maxwell added: “He took the pressure off me at the start and was striking boundaries at will.

“He looked in unbelievable nick and it is a scary sign for Australian Cricket when he is up and firing and hitting the ball as hard as he does. He batted beautifully today and probably deserved three figures.”

Before Sunday’s match, Maxwell’s last innings of note was for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League final against the Sydney Sixers.

At the Ageas Bowl, which he called home in 2012, the all-rounder took time to adjust to the pitch and made it to his half-century from 63 balls before he upped the ante in the second half of his innings.

Nathan Lyon eventually dismissed the middle-order batsman and recorded figures of three for 47 to help the Finch XI make a fist of proceedings before the Cummins XI got over the line with two wickets in hand and 51 balls to spare.

Maxwell conceded he did not see his century coming, adding: “Not really. It is my third hit on turf in the last six or seven months.

“Since the BBL final, I haven’t really had a hit against any bowler, so it was nice to get out there. It took me a bit of time to get used to the wicket but after that it was nice to get some rhythm.”

Australia have one more intra-squad match on Tuesday before they face England in three T20Is at the Ageas Bowl starting from September 4.

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