Glenn Maxwell smashed a century to show his tour intent in England and Marcus Stoinis made a pitch to play in the top order as the Aussies warmed up for their white-ball showdown with England.
Stoinis, the leading run-scorer in the Big Bash last season, made 87 opening up in the all-Aussie clash, while Maxwell, who hasn’t played for Australia since last October, hit 11 fours and two sixes in his innings of 108 off just 114 balls.
Maxwell, recalled to the national side after stepping away from the game last summer for a mental health break, took to an attack which included Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon in the warm-up match in Southampton ahead of Friday’s opening T20 clash with England.
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The enigmatic Victorian hadn’t faced any bowlers in a centre-wicket hit since the BBL final in February, given lockdown restrictions in Melbourne, and took his new role as the “finisher” to get the Pat Cummins XI over the line.
“It took a bit of time to get used to the wicket, but it was nice to get some rhythm,” Maxwell said.
“That’s all you can hope for as a middle-order batter, is a fight for spots and for guys to put their hands up and make some big scores and give the selectors something to think about.
“Can’t just have Warner, Finch and Smith making runs all the time, we’ve got to have other guys contributing as well.”
The trio of Warner (34), Finch (9) and Smith (8) combined for just 51 runs, with Warner and Finch opening for the Finch XI and Smith batting in the winning team.
Stoinis, who lost his Cricket Australia contract after being dumped from both the one-day and T20 national teams, made a significant statement, plundering 87 runs off 71 balls opening the batting with Matthew Wade, who was out for a duck.
Stoinis crashed 12 boundaries and two towering sixes in a “scary sign”. But his place in the best Aussie XI is yet to be confirmed.
“Stoin batted beautifully and took the pressure off me at the start. He was striking boundaries at will and looked in unbelievable nick,” said Maxwell, who put on 174-runs with Stoinis.
“It’s a scary sign for Australian cricket when he’s up and firing and hitting the ball as hard as he does.”
The Aussies will play another intra-squad practice match on Tuesday night before they meet England in the first of three T20 internationals at the same venue.