Maxwell’s sparkling ton sets up Vikings’ victory

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell
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Thirty miles south of Australia’s troubles at the Edgbaston Test, countryman Glenn Maxwell made 111 from 76 balls in Yorkshire’s emphatic 133-run win against Worcestershire at New Road in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

The 26-year-old all-rounder, a World Cup winner only four months ago, powered the Vikings to 345-6, the highest total on the ground by a visiting county in List A competitions.

To have got anywhere near the target, Worcestershire would have needed to break their own chasing record but despite Ross Whiteley’s third score of 50 or more against the Vikings in 15 days, they were dismissed for 212 in the 42nd over.

Whiteley romped to 77 from 51 balls, hitting six fours and five sixes after knocks of 91 not out in a NatWest T20 Blast victory at Headingley and 101 in an LV= County Championship defeat at Scarborough.

The left-hander was last out, caught on the mid-wicket boundary to give Steven Patterson 5-24 after he took four wickets in 15 balls in a second spell. The two sides came into the 50-over competition on the back of contrasting performances in T20. While Worcestershire are through to a home quarter-final, Yorkshire failed to qualify from the north group.

Maxwell was way off his potential in scoring only 229 runs from a dozen innings but the switch to the longer format seems to be suiting him, with a half-century against Surrey on Wednesday followed less than 24 hours later by his fourth List A hundred – his second 50 coming in 25 balls.

The stage was set up for him when Andrew Hodd, opening instead of the injured Andrew Gale, established momentum in a partnership of 61 with Alex Lees. Hodd made 18 before edging to slip in Ed Barnard’s first over in List A cricket.

Barnard finished with a creditable 3-59 – including the dismissal of Maxwell – but no one entirely escaped the Australian’s systematic rather than spectacular destruction of the bowling.

Lees was close to matching him until beaten in the air by Saeed Ajmal and easily stumped by Ben Cox for 67, but from then on it was the Maxwell show as Yorkshire made 216 in the second half of their innings. The only blip came when Gary Ballance, mis-hitting to mid-on after making 28, and Will Rhodes, caught behind, fell to successive balls from Barnard.

By then Maxwell had completed his hundred and even when he was out – attempting to reverse paddle after hitting four sixes and eight fours – Jack Leaning (58 not out) and Adil Rashid (41) put the game out of Worcestershire’s reach.

Leaning’s 50 took only 36 balls and they put on 102 in 11 overs before Rashid gave Cox his fourth dismissal.

Worcestershire could ill afford the mix-ups that saw openers Richard Oliver (two) and Daryl Mitchell (32) run out by direct hits from Patterson and Lees.

Brett D’Oliveira played tidily for 42 before he was caught behind off Liam Plunkett and Patterson wrapped it up for Yorkshire, just as he did when taking 5-11 in a championship win over the same opposition in April.

Yorkshire’s first-team coach Jason Gillespie said of Maxwell: “For me, honestly, I think he could have gone on even further and scored even more runs. To perform like he did was absolutely fantastic. He really gave us an opportunity to make a 300-plus score.

“I asked for a response from the players after being bitterly disappointed at The Oval. We have done a lot of talking about our limited-overs cricket and this morning was about, ‘We have done enough talking, just go out and do your job’.

“I think we clearly took ownership with the bat today, first with Lees and Maxwell and then obviously Rashid and Leaning at the end. The lads have responded positively and we bowled quite well to restrict them to 30-odd for two in 10 overs. That put Worcestershire under a lot of pressure.”