CWC 2023: Maxwell's Stunning Double Ton Leads Australia into Semi-Finals
Glenn Maxwell took charge after Australia were seven down and led them to an all-time great win at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
An astonishing double century from Glenn Maxwell (201*) helped Australia qualify for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup semi-finals. He was suffering cramps in the latter stages of his innings and fought his way through to stay at the crease. He found good support in his skipper, Pat Cummins.
This was the highest individual score in a Cricket World Cup chase.
In the first innings, a splendid century for Ibrahim Zadran (129*), sturdy knocks from the middle-order batters, and a hefty charge by the lower-order helped Afghanistan get to their highest Cricket World Cup score.
Naveen-ul-Haq struck in his very first over, getting Travis Head to nick one behind the wicket.
Mitchell Marsh attacked to pick up the scoring rate, but was eventually undone by a brilliant Naveen delivery, which skidded in and thudded into his pads and the umpire raised his finger after an appeal.
Azmatullah Omarzai's double strike soon reduced Australia from 49/2 to 49/4 in the ninth over.
Australia's effort now heavily depended on Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell. The duo added 20 runs for the fifth wickets, before Labuschagne was run out by a splendid effort by Rahmat Shah.
Rashid Khan arrived in the 15th over, and took not time to grab crucial wickets. The bowler whose seven wickets before this game had come at an average above 40, was at his very best from the very start. His two wickets supplemented the early damage and saw to it that Australia's innings sunk even further.
Maxwell and Pat Cummins managed to hold on over the next few overs, even as Afghanistan spinners continued to dominate.
Maxwell then lifted the pace of the innings, with a set of attacking shots.
Taking on the Afghanistan spinners, he smashed 10 fours and three sixes on the way to his century. Almost single-handedly, he raised Australia from 98/7 at the end of the 20-over mark, to 194/7 at the end of the 34th over.
Maxwell's brilliant knock took the shape of a heroic feat, when the batter fought on at the crease despite cramping. He hobbled around the wicket for singles, even as he took boundaries on offer.
After slipping while taking a run, his condition worsened. But Maxwell, unable to run now, continued on one leg. He unleashed a set of exquisite strokes to get the Kangaroos, within hitting distance of a famous win.
He found great support in Australia skipper Pat Cummins, whose patient 12 came off 68 balls. A flurry of big hits helped Australia finish the game in the 47th over.
Earlier today, Afghanistan were off to a characteristically solid start, courtesy of Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz. The batters didn't give many chances to Australia, and maintained a healthy run rate.