Glenn Maxwell battled through cramps to hit an unbroken 201 off 128 balls, leading the Aussies to an incredible 3-wicket victory against Afghanistan at the World Cup and securing the team’s place in the semi-finals.
Afghanistan seemed to be on track for a historic triumph, having reduced them to 91 for 7 after posting a target of 292. However, Afghans were stunned by the Maxwell show. Maxwell and skipper Pat Cummins led Australia beyond Afghanistan’s score with 19 balls to go.
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The Rundown: Australia vs Afghanistan
Glenn Maxwell overcame severe pain and fatigue to score Australia’s first-ever double-century, leading the team to a dramatic three-wicket victory over Afghanistan at the World Cup in Mumbai.
The Aussies stormed into the World Cup’s final four on the back of an amazing 201 not out from Maxwell. Australia, behind at 91 for 7, was on the brink of meltdown in their pursuit of 292, but Maxwell delivered one of the best ODI centuries in history to enable his team to pull off a steal.
Maxwell Endures Cramp Attack But Continues to Dominate
Maxwell punished Afghanistan with an incredible 128-ball innings that included 21 fours and 10 sixes, becoming only the third batter to make a World Cup double century, shortly after Chris Gayle and Martin Guptill .
He finished the game in style, slamming Mujeeb for another six with almost three overs remaining. Pat Cummins, Australia’s captain, was 12 not out but contributed an important part in an unbeaten eighth-wicket partnership of 202.
Maxwell, at 146, experienced a terrible cramp attack as he staggered over for a single, adding another twist to a tense encounter.
However, after receiving on-field therapy, Maxwell kept on pulverizing Afghanistan’s onslaught with a stunning assortment of shots. This featured an incredible reverse shot for six-off paceman Azmatullah Omarzai, who had earlier prevented Maxwell from getting a hat-trick.
Afghanistan’s Path to the Semifinals Remains Narrow
Despite this setback, Afghanistan remains in last-four contention, yet they must get past second-placed South Africa and anticipate other outcomes to go their way to advance to the bracket phase.
It appeared like Ibrahim Zadran’s 129 not out in a score of 291-5 was going to be the first century by an Afghanistan batsman in a World Cup. Thar leaves Australia having surpassed their previous greatest victory total of 287 over the Kiwis in a World Cup quarter-final in Chennai in 1996.
However, opener Travis Head got caught behind off a stunning Naveen-ul-Haq throw that sailed off rapidly, with the paceman also dismissing Mitchell Marsh Ibw for 24.
Australia’s 43-2 turned 49-4 when Omarzai hit twice in a row, clean-bowled by veteran opener David Warner after the left-hander’s nasty attempt over the boundary before Josh Inglis clutched to the first slip. Maxwell just avoided a hat-trick by cutting short of wicketkeeper Ikram Alikhil.
Australia Keeps Afghanistan at a Distance Despite Early Setbacks
Australia went 69-5 when Marnus Labuschagne was run out by Rahmat Shah’s straight smash from the middle due to a mix-up with Maxwell, then leg-spinner Rashid Khan dismissed Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Starc as fans urged Afghanistan on.
But then came Maxwell’s dramatic comeback, with Australia winning 112–7. Earlier, opener Zadran led Afghanistan with their best World Cup total. After missing the toss, Australia effectively kept Afghanistan at bay, though they battled for wickets, with Zadran reaching his fifth century in 27 ODIs off 131 balls, hitting seven fours.
Player of the Game: Glenn Maxwell
Despite suffering from cramping, Glenn Maxwell batted an amazing 201 not out from 128 balls, leading the Aussies to an extraordinary three-wicket victory.
Maxwell’s greatest one-day international performance was only his fourth in 136 one-day international contests, but it was also his second of the competition after he struck the quickest hundred in men’s World Cup history, off just 40 balls, over the Dutch.
During his havoc at the Wankhede Stadium, the ‘Player of the Match ‘broke a slew of records:
- Maxwell’s unbeaten 201 is the most by a player in ODIs when chasing, breaking Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman’s 193 over South Africa in 2021, although in an unsuccessful effort.
- Maxwell was the first Australian batsman to achieve a double century in one-day internationals. Shane Watson set the previous record with an unbroken 185 over Bangladesh in 2011.
- Maxwell’s total also ranks among the highest ever for a non-opener in ODIs. Charles Coventry of Zimbabwe had previously struck an unbeaten 194 over Bangladesh in Bulawayo in 2009.
- Maxwell hit his double century in 128 balls, which is the second-quickest in ODI history. Indian hitter Ishan Kishan had the distinction of achieving the quickest double ton (126 balls) over Bangladesh a year ago.
Australia v Afghanistan Score
|293/7(46.5 overs)||291/5(50 overs)|
|Australia defeated Afghanistan by 3 wickets with 19 balls to spare|
After getting beaten by the host team and the Proteas in their first two ICC World Cup 2023 games, Australia has made a fantastic recovery. Afghanistan, on the other hand, has had an incredible run in this year’s Cricket World Cup, currently placed sixth on the points table with 8 points from 7 matches.
With 10 points after seven games, Australia is third in the rankings. The five-time world champions need one more win against Afghanistan and Bangladesh on November 11 to secure a place in the semifinals.
Afghanistan is sixth in the table, having won four of its seven games. Its eight points came from spectacular victories over England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and the Netherlands. It must win both of its final assignments against Australia and South Africa on November 10 to guarantee a spot in the final four.
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