Glenn Maxwell had a statement to make after he was left out of the Australia ODI side, and boy did he do just that, scoring the second highest T20 international individual score to lead his team to the largest ever total in the shortest format of the sport at this level.
What was expected to be Part I of the Tillakaratne Dilshan farewell, turned into an assault of ridiculous proportions from Maxwell, who scored an unbeaten 145 from 65 balls, studded with 14 fours and nine sixes. As a result of that assault, Australia posted 263 for three in their 20 overs, crossing Sri Lanka's world record mark of 260, set back in 2007 against Kenya.
Opening the innings, after injury to Aaron Finch gave him that opportunity, Maxwell sent out a message to the Australian selectors, who had dropped the swashbuckling batsman for the ODI series against Sri Lanka and the upcoming tour to South Africa.
"I actually had a chat to [coach] Greg Blewett a couple of days ago after Finch hurt his finger," Maxwell said. "I said, 'Geez, I'd love to have a crack at the top of the order.'
"Sure enough, a couple of days, Warner gave me a tap on the shoulder and told me I was going to be up the top with him. So I was excited about it and looking forward to the opportunity.
"I really enjoy batting at the top of the order in T20 cricket. I find it's easier to get into the innings. When you're in the middle order you have to be proactive the whole time. It seems like if you get out playing a big shot at that stage of the game, it all falls on your shoulders.
"At the top of the order you've got a little bit more freedom to get yourself into the game and play pretty normal cricket shots without taking risks. You only have to beat two guys on the fence. The way Sri Lanka set fields at the start made it pretty obvious where they're going to bowl. It made my job a lot easier in the first six."
Maxwell was given solid support at the top by David Warner (28, 16b, 5x4), before Usman Khawaja (36, 22b, 2x4, 2x6), another one of the Aussie batsmen who has found runs hard to come by, smashed a few to keep the momentum.
However, it was the third wicket partnership between Maxwell and Travis Head (45, 18b, 4x4, 3x6) that really took Australia into world record levels, with the duo allying for 109 runs in 6.4 overs, with the latter only falling off the last ball of the innings.
"When I looked up and there was eight overs to go and I was 80 or 90, I got the sense it would be a big score," Maxwell added. "I didn't really realise how long there was left. I think I've made that mistake a few times playing in the IPL. I kept swinging until I was out. I probably played periods a bit smarter. I knew if I mistimed it, it'd go in the gap."
The Sri Lanka reply never really got going, as wickets kept tumbling owing to the pressure of the unreachable chase – Dilshan, in his penultimate international match, was dismissed by Mitchell Starc in the first over of the second innings. Sri Lanka eventually finished on 178/9 in their 20 overs, with Dinesh Chandimal top scoring with 58 (43b, 6x4, 1x6), while Chamara Kapugedera (43, 25b, 3x3, 3x6) kept the crowd entertained at the end.