Cricket World Cup: Glenn Maxwell’s fast scoring unprecedented in World Cups

Glenn Maxwell is scything and swatting his way into the World Cup record books.
Nanjing Night Net

The batsman widely derided for his flighty approach to batting in limited-overs matches is in his most consistent period in the national team, and is generally playing without sacrificing any of his audacity.

The only time Maxwell has failed in the tournament was when he played on to his stumps for one in the Trent Boult-led rout of Australia’s batting line-up in Auckland. He was on track to notch his fifth 50-plus score in six innings but ran out of time as Australia reached the victory target of 214 against Pakistan on Friday night in Adelaide.

Maxwell’s unbeaten 44 took his tournament tally beyond 300 runs. Such a feat is unremarkable in World Cups, but the pace he has scored is truly remarkable.

He is one of five players in this tournament to have scored at least 300 runs at a strike-rate of better than a run a ball. Zimbabwe duo Sean Williams and Brendan Taylor respectively boasted a strike-rate of 109 and 106.91, while Kumar Sangakkara’s plummeted to 105.87 after he was forced to play the anchor role in Sri Lanka’s quarter-final defeat to South Africa. All three are well behind second-placed AB de Villiers with 144.29, but even the South African captain is not – yet – close to matching Maxwell’s strike rate of 183.53. De Villiers has twice achieved the feat at previous World Cups.

Before this World Cup there had only been 11 instances of players scoring 300 or more runs at better than a run a ball, with half coming in the past two tournaments, in 2011 and 2007. Two of the most significant achievements were India’s Kapil Dev scoring at 108.99 in 1983 and West Indies’ Viv Richards’ 107.41 in 1987, because they were so out of kilter with the sedate scoring rates of the time.

The record for a highest strike rate by a batsman to have scored at least 300 runs in a World Cup was India’s Virender Sehwag, who in 2011 scored 380 at a strike rate of 122.58. That record will stand only until this World Cup ends.

Maxwell was spared on five against Pakistan after Sohail Khan spilled a tough chance at third man. The chance was created by a bizarre sliced shot at the peak of Wahab Riaz’s fearsome spell. The affable all-rounder joked on Twitter it was “called the back away, look away, deliberate cut through point,” before praising the left-armer for his hostility in the spell that claimed the scalps of David Warner and Michael Clarke and created the chances from him and Shane Watson that were put down.

The form of Maxwell is vindication for the national selectors for maintaining their faith despite his form woes late last year.

MASTER BLASTERSBatsmen who have scored at least 300 runs at a strike rate of better than 100 in a World Cup

* Glenn Maxwell (Aus) – 301r at 75.25, s-r 183.53. 2015 WC. * AB de Villiers (SAf) – 417r at 83.4, s-r 144.29. 2015 WC. * Virender Sehwag (Ind) – 380r at 47.5, s-r 122.58. 2011 WC. * Sean Williams (Zim) – 339r at 67.8, s-r 109. 2015 WC. * Kapil Dev (Ind) – 303r at 60.6, s-r 108.99. 1983 WC. * AB de Villiers (SA) – 353r at 88.25, s-r 108.28. 2011 WC. * Aravinda da Silva (SL) – 448r at 89.6, s-r 107.69. 1996 WC. * Viv Richards (WI) – 391r at 65.16, s-r 107.41. 1987 WC. * Brendan Taylor (Zim) – 433r at 72.16, s-r 106.91. 2015 WC. * Kumar Sangakkara (SL) – 541r at 108.2, s-r 105.87. 2015 WC. * Adam Gilchrist (Aus) – 408r at 40.8, s-r 105.42. 2003 WC. * Graeme Smith (SAf) – 443r at 104.48, s-r 104.48. 2007 WC. * Adam Gilchrist (Aus) – 453r at 45.3, s-r 103.89. 2007 WC. * Matthew Hayden (Aus) – 659r at 73.22, s-r 101.07. 2007 WC. * AB de Villiers (SAf) – 372r at 37.2, s-r 100.81. 2007 WC. * Herschelle Gibbs (SAf) – 384r at 96, s-r 100.78. 2003 WC.

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