Maxwell time has not yet begun. Still not. Nope. It will come. Soon. Wait for it. There it is, a zap over mid off in the middle of a mini-collapse, its stunning orthodoxy is shocking to the eyes.
Reverse sweep, hard, for one. Slog straight up in the air, Maxwell’s air, it teases a bunch of fielders. Defense. Uncontrolled pop to the boundary. And then a controlled ping over it that looked so pure it was unMaxwellian.
Turn to leg. Malinga Yorker that causes split leg defensive shot, he almost rides his bat like he’s in a rodeo, in no way is this a cricket shot. A back away and block for another Yorker. Another Yorker handled. A yorker through cover, Malinga is averted. A sweep-kerching disappears somewhere beyond the deep midwicket fielder.
Out of control one hand sweep. A lofted safe and controlled reverse zlonk to the rope, yes safe and controlled in the Maxwell time. A casual jaunt down the wicket to slog to midwicket for a couple. The same shot for the same result. The left foot goes off the pitch, right off it, the ball comes in at leg stump fast from Malinga, it is another yorker, Maxwell throws every single part of himself into the shot that clangs into the cover boundary.
Another Yorker from Malinga is bunted for one. There is almost regret on Maxwell’s face as a full toss is only mishit for two less than a boundary. There is actual joy on Maxwell’s face when the next one is helped, encouraged, persuaded to cross the mid wicket rope just so he can enjoy his 50 off 26 balls, ding ding ding.
A failed pick up flick ends in one. He is beaten outside what would have been his offstump if he hadn’t backed away a metre before the bowler had even got into delivery stride. Turns the ball to fine leg, and would have got two if he wasn’t so frustrated at the lack of six hit. The front leg visits square leg and Malinga follows him, hitting him in the guts. Gets a single to fine leg with a coaching manual leg glance. Then a sweep bonk four.
Smart move outside off for classy plop sweep between two fielders for another boundary. Aerial over cover, because he can, gets two. The ball is flighted, it’s on middle and off, it is a good legspin delivery to some batsmen, biff, mid wicket, four. A cover slice for one. Mathews is just about in stride when Maxwell reverses himself, and yet, it is like he has an hour to wait as the length ball come towards him before the thwak of the reverse pull flies off to the rope.
A bash to mid off, no run. A leg side flip takes the top edge and goes very high, there is a man under it who can only drop it after a very quick dash, whilst allowing three runs. Slower ball forces another mistake with an aerial bunt for one. The stand back and wild swing goes clang off the bat, but still reaches the rope. A well hit drive finds a fielder in the ring, and he thinks about a single before remembering slogging is more fun. A short slower ball is pulled with a flick of the wrists; it is largely innocuous until you notice that when it hit the bat there was a kaboom and it actually landed in the crowd.
A wide from Perera is looked at with disgust from Maxwell when he realises he can’t reach it to hit it for six. A two is taken from hard running. Back away and pow over cover. Maxwell time gets tense at half past 90, and A sweep from Mathews goes straight up in the air, Kumar Sangakkara dashs back to just get there in time, but still drop it, two runs are completed as Kumar punches himself in disgust. A single is taken to cover. Two from an orthodox back away lofted drive. Shuffle to mid on for one, 99 now.
Fast and straight from Malinga moves Maxwell infront of the stumps, Malinga appeals to a quickly disappearing umpire Gould, Maxwell completes a run, the crowd wait to see whether it was a run for Maxwell, he has a chat with Ian Gould, who finally lifts his leg for the scorers, it seems Maxwell does not want to bring up his hundred with a fraudulent run, that isn’t supposed to be how he does it.
After Shane Watson seemingly takes an age to get Maxwell back on strike, a clip over cover gets a scampered two, Maxwell is celebrating on the second run, maiden international hundred, he swings his bat aggressively at the changeroom, takes off his helmet and then embraces Watson and cries on his shoulder.
Maxwell needs to wipe tears from his eyes before facing the next ball, a single to long on.
Mishit from Maxwell finds a catching mid on, there is a check for a no ball, and Maxwell has a cheeky smile, but it is a kayo, Maxwell time is over.