AUS vs AFG: Glenn Maxwell ‘Masterclass’ innings helps Australia beat Afghanistan by 3 wickets

AUS VS AFG: Glenn Maxwell exceptional performance helped Australia secure a spot in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals. Despite battling cramps and back issues, Maxwell played a remarkable double-century innings of 201 off 128 balls, leading Australia to victory against Afghanistan with 19 deliveries to spare.

This win, in conjunction with India and South Africa’s performances, sealed Australia’s semi-final berth and dashed Afghanistan’s hopes. Maxwell’s innings included 21 fours and 10 sixes, and he finished the match with a boundary. Australia had a shaky start, collapsing to 91-7, but Maxwell’s century revitalized their chase. His dropped catch on 33 by Mujeeb Ur Rahman was a crucial turning point.

Afghanistan’s Ibrahim Zadran scored his country’s first World Cup hundred, a remarkable 129 not out, contributing to their total of 291 for 5. Zadran’s knock displayed his temperament and caliber as he anchored the innings.

Australia’s bowlers struggled to find assistance from the pitch, and Afghanistan’s approach was relatively conservative. Azmatullah Omarzai and Rashid Khan provided some late impetus, but Zadran was the star of the innings. Afghanistan’s start featured an 83-run partnership between Rahmat Shah and Zadran, which set the stage for their total.

AUS VS AFG: Maxwell once-in-a-lifetime innings resonated with one of 90’s

Glenn Maxwell looked broken. He was crawling on his knees between overs, gasping in pain, but his spirit remained intact. The Aussie kept swishing his bat to score an unbeaten 201 to script possibly the greatest ODI knock of all time. It was certainly the greatest innings in a World Cup chase, which dealt a heartbreaking blow to Afghanistan.

Maxwell’s double hundred was a throwback to Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar’s epic 194 against India in the 1997 Independence Cup. However, unlike Anwar, Maxwell didn’t have the luxury of the now-scrapped rule of allowing an injured batsman a runner. The 35-year-old willed his beaten body to cross over for singles. He even collapsed to the ground once, but, grimacing in pain, he stood up. He couldn’t bend his legs, or stretch his body, but his hands were in a frenzy, as they kept carting the ball around the park and crashing Afghanistan’s hopes.

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Prachi Rajan - 850 Posts

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