Glenn Maxwell shone brilliant for Australia because the five-time champions certified for the 2023 World Cup semi-finals in some type, with a three-wicket win over Afghanistan on the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Chasing a goal of 292, Australia had been as soon as reeling at 91/7, however Maxwell rose as much as the event with an aggressive batting show to information his group to a miraculous victory. In the top, Afghanistan had been left heartbroken as Maxwell virtually single-handedly took away the match from the Afghans.
Maxwell got here into bat as early as within the ninth over, when Australia’s hopes had been in tatters. Not solely that, Azmatullah Omarzai was on a hat-trick when Maxwell got here into bat. Maxwell had come into bat at quantity six, following the dismissal of Josh Inglis. Australia had been 49/four at the moment. In the very first ball that Maxwell confronted, there was an LBW attraction from the Afghanistan group, however the ball had not touched Maxwell’s pads one bit, and there was a thick outdoors edge.
Maxwell did get a reprieve, however little did the Afghans know what was to come back. However, it was not lengthy till Maxwell received blended up with Marnus Labuschagne within the 15th over, when the latter was run-out on the striker’s finish.
Problems went from unhealthy to worse for the Aussies after Rashid Khan struck twice between the 17th and 19th overs, to take away Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Starc.
In got here Pat Cummins at quantity 9, and all of the Australia skipper needed to do is be there for Maxwell on the different finish as a supportive determine whereas the latter did all of the scoring with the bat.
Maxwell, in the meantime, might have seen his innings finish at 33 had Mujeeb Ur Rahman caught a straightforward catch at brief positive leg. That was one other escape for the Aussies, and a pricey error from the Afghans.
Maxwell then modified gears, shifting to a extra aggressive come-what-may strategy in opposition to the Afghans, who had been virtually clueless halfway by way of Maxwell’s knock.
From slog sweeps to straight drives, there was hardly something that Maxwell couldn’t do. He took on Noor Ahmad with ease, clearing the midwicket fence on events whereas doing the identical in opposition to Mohammad Nabi as soon as.
Maxwell would ultimately get to his century in simply 76 deliveries, with a single off Noor Ahmad within the 32nd over. And Maxwell would solely take 52 deliveries for his double century, with a humongous six over deep midwicket off Mujeeb’s ball within the 47th over that ultimately sealed the win for Australia.
Although the knock was straightforward on the attention, it was removed from it for Maxwell. Maxwell hardly moved his toes resulting from cramps after fielding for everything of the Afghanistan innings. In the 41st over, Maxwell was in some ache and needed to be attended by the physio as Adam Zampa waited close to the boundary line.
But, after a quick look by the physio, Maxwell was good to go once more, virtually as if his greatest was but to come back. Maxwell het Azmatullah for two boundaries within the 42nd. In the 44th, Maxwell once more punished Azmatullahwith two fours, and a six that was slapped over deep third.
Maxwell was into his 170s by the top of the over, and Australia had been practically there. In the 47th over of the chase, Australia wanted 21 runs off 24 balls. Mujeeb bowled that over. After a dot within the first ball of the over, the 35-year-old went over deep midwicket for a most, earlier than one other six within the subsequent ball after which slamming previous cowl for a 4.
Australia wanted simply 5 runs off 20 deliveries, and Maxwell completed it off in Maxwell type, with a heave over midwicket that will assist him create historical past.
To put it into context, Maxwell set quite a few information on Tuesday, however essentially the most notable one was going previous Shane Watson’s (185 runs) file of registering the best particular person rating in ODIs by an Australian.
In the top, it was certainly a spectacular contest, and absolutely an innings of a lifetime, as Maxwell fairly actually introduced the Australian cricket group again from the lifeless.
Brief scores: Afghanistan 291/5 from 50 overs (Ibrahim Zadran 129*, Josh Hazlewood 2/39) misplaced to Australia 293/7 in 46.5 overs (Glenn Maxwell 201*; Rashid Khan 2/44)