In a dramatic turn of events at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in Mumbai, Glenn Maxwell delivered a stunning performance that led Australia to a three-wicket victory over Afghanistan.
The Aussie dynamo played a pivotal role in the match, securing one of the most remarkable innings ever witnessed in World Cup history with an unbeaten double-century.
Maxwell, who is 35, entered the fray under pressure at 49-4 following Josh Inglis’s dismissal. Despite being given two reprieves after being dropped by Hashmatullah Shahidi and Mujeeb ur Rehman, Maxwell unleashed his fury on Afghanistan’s bowlers, dispatching them around the ground with ferocity. His efforts were complemented by captain Pat Cummins’ steady support, who contributed a measured 12 runs off 68 balls.
Battling cramps and constrained movement in the final overs, Maxwell continued to strike the ball effectively, even without using footwork. His resilience paid off, making him the first batsman to score 200 runs in an ODI chase and the first to score two centuries at No. 5 or lower in a single World Cup edition.
Afghanistan’s batting highlight came from Ibrahim Zadran, who became the first player from his country to score a World Cup century. Zadran’s opening stance lasted until the end, propelling Afghanistan to a competitive total. Rashid Khan’s explosive 35 off 18 balls, alongside modest scores from Rahmat Shah, Shahidi, and Azmatullah Omarzai, added to their efforts.
Josh Hazlewood emerged as the standout bowler for Australia, containing runs and securing two crucial wickets, contrasting the less impressive performances from the rest of the bowling lineup.
After this intense match, Afghanistan looks ahead to a critical game against South Africa on November 9, which they must win. Australia, energized by their victory, is set to face Bangladesh on November 11 in what will be their last group match.