Maxwell makes statement after Test axing
GLENN Maxwell insists his half-century to guide Victoria to a dramatic 16-run victory in their JLT Cup clash with Queensland at Riverway Stadium wasn't a message to the Australian Test selectors.
Maxwell hit an assured 80 from 90 balls as Victoria set a target of 241 before teenage paceman Will Sutherland snared career-best figures of 5-45 to dismiss the Bulls for 227 in reply.
Queensland spinner Mitch Swepson (77) was almost the unlikely hero with the bat after they fought back from 8-145 in a brilliant 77-run stand with debutant Xavier Bartlett (28).
But it was Maxwell who made the biggest statement as he and new recruit Nic Maddinson (68) combined for 102 runs after Victoria had slumped to 3-40 early.
It was the perfect timing for the 29-year-old after he was overlooked for next month's two-Test series against Pakistan, but Maxwell said his only focus was winning games for Victoria.
"I'm not thinking about that right now, that's gone at the moment. There's no point dwelling on it and talking about it," Maxwell said of his Test snubbing.
"My job right now is to make runs and play well for Victoria and if I can contribute to wins like today and we can have some success and sing the song together they're special moments.
"Coming in at three-for in the powerplay and the ball zipping around and doing a bit of all sorts out there it was nice to get through that and put on a partnership with 'Maddo' and give us something to bowl at.
"You're always wary when it seams in the morning that it's going to flatten out in the arvo and luckily enough it still seamed around a little bit for their innings and we were able to get enough wickets to really drive the game after that.
"We haven't always started tournaments off well so today's a really good sign of where we're heading as a group."
Newly-appointed Queensland skipper Chris Lynn made an unhappy return after a spate of shoulder injuries as he was dismissed by player of the match Sutherland for a third-ball duck.
Opening batsman Max Bryant was impressive on Bulls debut as he blasted 45 off just 38 balls and Swepson was confident Queensland can bounce back for this Saturday's clash with Tasmania in Townsville.
"I think we did well to get as close as we did," Swepson said.
"We did a lot of the right things with the ball, but I think the top order would've liked to have scored a few more runs so if we can do that next game we'll put our best foot forward to win."
Victoria will be back in action at Riverway Stadium against Tasmania on Wednesday from 10am.
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