In one of the greatest comeback stories, an injured Glenn Maxwell orchestrated a heist of epic proportions in the World Cup clash against Afghanistan. Against all odds, he resurrected Australia’s hopes, wielding his bat like a magical wand to conjure an incredible 201* off just 128 balls, stunning Afghanistan and the crowd at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Afghanistan Posts a Fighting Total
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, opener Ibrahim Zadran displayed brilliance by scoring an unbeaten 129 runs off 143 deliveries, becoming the first Afghan batsman to hit a century in World Cup cricket. Zadran formed small but valuable partnerships with every Afghan batsman.
Following Zadran’s outstanding performance, it was Rashid Khan who took the mantle to challenge the Australian bowlers. He played an explosive 18-ball cameo, scoring 35 runs, contributing to Afghanistan’s impressive total of 291 runs for the loss of only 5 wickets. The Australian bowling attack saw Josh Hazlewood taking two wickets, while Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell, and Adam Zampa claimed one wicket each.
Afghan Pacers Wreak Havoc
The Australian innings got off to a disappointing start as Naveen-ul-Haq and Azmatullah Omarzai tore through their batting order. Glenn Maxwell came to the crease when Australia was reeling at 49 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. The situation worsened, with Australia stumbling to 91-7 in 18.3 overs, and Afghanistan was on the brink of causing one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.
Maxwell-Cummins Record Stand
Skipper Pat Cummins joined Maxwell, and together they forged a record 202-run stand for the 8th wicket, In this partnership, the Australian captain contributed only 12 runs from 68 balls. While Glenn Maxwell’s unbeaten 201 received accolades as the ‘greatest ever ODI knock,’ with praise from cricket legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Akram, Pat Cummins played a pivotal role by holding one end after Australia’s top-order collapse.
‘The Big Show’
After surving an LBW appeal and getting dropped twice, Glenn Maxwell showed no mercy and ruthlessly dispatched the Afghan bowlers to all corners of the ground.
The 35-year-old also suffered cramps, and in the last few overs, he was unable to run. He relied on his wristwork and minimal foot movement, yet he treated the Afghan bowling attack like club bowlers, leaving the Wankhede crowd in sheer astonishment.
With just four overs remaining, Australia required 21 runs to win, and the unmovable Maxwell sealed the win in style. He blasted three sixes and a four in four deliveries to bring up his double-century.
Maxwell Smashes Record Books
In a phenomenal display, Glenn Maxwell achieved multiple records: he scored an unbeaten 201, the highest individual chase in ODIs, becoming the first Australian to reach a double century in ODIs. His 201 is also the highest individual score by a No.6 batter or lower in ODIs. Additionally, his partnership with Pat Cummins for 202 runs stands as the highest for the 8th wicket in ODIs, breaking the previous record which was held by South Africa’s Andrew Hall and Justin Kemp, who combined for a 138-run stand against India in 2006.
Australia Book Their Semifinal Spot
Australia, whose semi-final place was virtually already confirmed, officially booked their spot after their three-wicket win over Afghanistan.
They will now clash against the Proteas in the semi-final.
Final scores: AFG 291-5 (50.0) | AUS 293-7 (46.5)