Mitchell Starc broke a 19-year-old world record after claiming his 100th wicket in his 52nd one-day international match.
The left-arm pace sensation took 3-32 in the opening ODI clash with Sri Lanka, lifting his tally to 101. The previous record of 53 matches was set by Pakistan’s spinner Saqlain Mushtaq in 1997.
Sunday’s performance continues a stunning Sri Lankan tour for 26-year-old Starc, whose 24-wicket haul in July and August was a record for a visiting pace bowler in Sri Lanka in a three-Test series.
Sri Lanka was 6-208 with three overs remaining in its innings following half-centuries from Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal.
Australia chose to bowl first and struck in the opening over when Starc penetrated Kusal Perera’s defences.
It was the third consecutive match in which Starc had broken through in the first over of an innings, including the second and third Tests.
Tillakaratne Dilshan tried his “Dil-scoop” ramp shot against Moises Henriques but it proved to the 39-year-old’s downfall when he was caught at point.
The big wicket though was No.3 Mendis, who was in such fine touch in the recent Test series. Mendis gave a chance to the square-leg boundary fielder on 14 but was dropped by Aaron Finch, who appeared to be looking into the sun.
All-rounder James Faulkner dismissed Mendis caught at mid-wicket and skipper Angelo Mathews for a duck in the same over.
The management of Starc will be crucial to Australia’s hopes of success this summer in Tests against Pakistan and South Africa.
Starc broke down with foot and ankle injuries in November last year and made his international return in June in the ODI series in the West Indies.
“Playing three formats, these days with the quantity of cricket that we do play, it’s almost impossible to play every single game of cricket as a bowler and stay on the park for long periods of time,” Starc told last month.