Australian opener David Warner had forgotten the feeling of being cheered until hammering his maiden Twenty20 international ton in a record win against Sri Lanka.
Australia’s crushing 134-run triumph on Sunday at Adelaide Oval is, by runs margin, the nation’s biggest T20 victory.
Warner’s whirlwind unbeaten 100 from 56 balls underpinned a whopping 2-233 – Australia’s fourth-highest T20 total and best on home soil.
Sri Lanka stumbled to 9-99 in reply as Australia emphatically took a 1-0 lead in the three-game series.
Warner, on his 33rd birthday and in his first home international since being banned for ball tampering, leapt wildly into the air on reaching his milestone from the last ball of Australia’s innings.
And after a winter of copping English jeers, Warner is feeling the love again from Australian fans despite a lowly Adelaide attendance of 16,268.
“It’s always fantastic to get that … you forget how much it actually drives you when you’re out there,” Warner said of the crowd support.
“I think they don’t realise how much of an impact it has for us players.”
Warner, with support from captain Aaron Finch (64 from 36 balls) and Glenn Maxwell (62 from 28), savaged Sri Lanka’s bowling.
The trio made a mess of seamer Kasun Rajitha, who finished with 0-75 – the most runs conceded in a four-over spell in T20 internationals.
Warner smacked 10 fours and four sixes, becoming the fourth Australian to hit a T20 international century after Maxwell (three times), Finch (two) and Shane Watson (one).
“You actually forget that you don’t have one,” Warner said.
Maxy reminded me, saying ‘welcome to the club’ which was quite funny.”
Warner set a rampant tone with Finch in a opening partnership of 122 runs from just 10.5 overs.
The pair reached their half-centuries in the same over, both by smacking consecutive sixes from the hapless Rajitha.
After the dismissal of Finch (eight fours, three sixes), Maxwell (seven fours, three sixes) produced a daring knock.
Maxwell and Warner put on 107 runs and their century stand took just 52 balls.
Sri Lanka’s run chase was in tatters at 3-13 after 22 balls.
Australian pacemen Mitchell Starc (2-18) struck in the first over and Pat Cummins (2-27) was on a hat-trick in the fourth over but was denied the rare feat.
Spinners Adam Zampa (3-14) and Ashton Agar (1-13) were also wicket-takers, while Dasun Shanaka top-scored with 17 in Sri Lanka’s biggest, by runs margin, T20 loss.
The series continues on Wednesday in Brisbane with the last game on Friday in Melbourne.