Glenn Maxwell blasted 83 off 39 balls as Melbourne Stars defeated Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Glenn Maxwell was the first Australian player to break the bank in the IPL 2020 player auction as he was brought for Rs 10.75 crore by Kings XI Punjab. Maxwell, who was out of cricket for close to one month due to mental health issues, was part of an intense bidding war between Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjas as Maxwell returned to the franchise where he enjoyed success in the 2014 edition. Maxwell celebrated his return in grand style as he put up a brilliant performance for the Melbourne Stars in their clash against Brisbane Heat at the Carrara Oval in Queensland.
Brisbane Heat chose to bowl and they reduced Melbourne Stars to 74/4 in the 10th over. The right-hander started off in grand style with two fours off Ben Cutting and blasted a four as well as a six off Afghanistan spinner Zahir Khan. Maxwell signalled his intent with his second six off Ben Laughlin and he dealt primarily in sixes with another big hit off legspinner Mitchell Swepson. Maxwell hit a boundary to notch up his fifty off just 23 balls which is the joint-quickest for him in the Big Bash League.
After reaching the landmark, Maxwell reverse scooped Cutting for a boundary and he punished Josh Lalor with two sixes over long on and long leg. After smashing two fours off Laughlin, he was bowled for a brilliant 83 off 39 balls as Melbourne Stars ended on 167/7. In response, Brisbane Heat could not cope with Adam Zampa and Haris Rauf as they stumbled. Rauf picked up a wicket in his first ball in Big Bash League but Banton showed his class with a six off Rauf and two boundaries off Zampa. Banton reached his fifty off just 29 balls with a six off Zampa and he slog swept Clint Hinchliffe for a mighty six.
But, Zampa managed to get his revenge as Banton mistimed the lofted shot to long on. Lamichhane and Rauf put a tight lid on the scoring and Brisbane Heat stumbled to a 22-run loss. Daniel Worrall took two wickets and Rauf also took a brace while Zampa was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets.
Speaking on his mental health issue before the auction, Maxwell said, ""I was pretty cooked when I decided to take the time off. Big reason why I did take that time away is I was pretty mentally and physically ruined. I think it was eight months on the road, living out of a suitcase and that probably had been going on for four or five years, just constantly on the road and it all just caught up with me at that time. I really want to thank Cricket Australia, Cricket Victoria and the Stars for giving me that space and allowing me to have that time away from the game and get myself right."