Maxwell’s Masterclass Secures Semi-Final Spot for Australia
In a display of sheer will and skill, Glenn Maxwell’s monumental double century propelled Australia into the World Cup semi-finals, overcoming a spirited Afghanistan by three wickets in a thrilling encounter.
A Turn of Tide in Mumbai
The Australian chase was teetering at 91 for 7, with the Afghan bowlers tearing through the top order, threatening to etch their names in the annals of World Cup upsets. However, Maxwell’s unyielding 201* turned the tide, forging an unassailable 202-run partnership with captain Pat Cummins, and securing a semi-final berth alongside hosts India and South Africa.
The Heat of the Battle
Maxwell’s innings was not just a testament to his batting prowess but also to his endurance. Battling cramps and the oppressive Mumbai heat, he persevered, his legs giving way yet his spirit unyielding. His partnership with Cummins was a study in contrast—Maxwell’s explosive batting complemented by Cummins’ stoic defence.
A Record-Breaking Stand
Maxwell’s 201* marks the highest score by a No. 6 batsman in the history of ODIs, etching his name into the record books with the first double century by an Australian in the format. The partnership with Cummins also stands as the highest for the eighth wicket in ODI history.
The Afghan Challenge
Afghanistan’s bowlers, particularly Naveen-ul-Haq and Azmatullah Omarzai, initially set the stage for what could have been a historic win, displaying skills that belied their relative inexperience on the world stage. Ibrahim Zadran’s century, the first for Afghanistan in World Cups, and Rashid Khan’s late onslaught took Afghanistan to a competitive 291, a total that seemed formidable until Maxwell’s heroics.
The Final Flourish
With the game and a personal milestone within reach, Maxwell unleashed a final assault, securing the win and his double century in a breathtaking fashion. His innings, a blend of traditional shots and innovative reverse sweeps, will be remembered as one of the great ODI innings.