World Cup 2023 | Maxwell Magic took Aussies to Semis

A “Mad Max Fury” had blown Afghanistan away in ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023. Glenn Maxwell’s special double century against Afghanistan had ensured Australian qualification in the Semi Finals. The two teams met in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday for the 39th match of the tournament.

Winning the toss, Afghanistan batted first and the innings was stitched together by Ibrahim Zadran’s (129 not out of 143 balls) magnificent century. Other Afghan batters batted around Zadran and eventually a late order flourish from Rashid Khan had taken the score to 291-5 in their 50 overs.
In reply, Australia reached the target in 46.5 overs.

The top order crumbled in front of a brilliant swing bowling display of quick bowlers Naveen ul Haq and Azmatullah Omarzai as they had dismissed Travis Head (0 of 2 balls), David Warner (18 of 29 balls), Mitch Marsh (24 of 11 balls) and Josh Inglis (0 of 1 ball). Australia were reeling at 91 for 7 in 18.3 overs. Then came the massive partnership between Glenn Maxwell and skipper Pat Cummins of 202 runs which is the highest 8th wicket partnership ever in ODIs. Maxwell scored a blistering double ton (201 not out) in just 128 balls. He got support from Pat Cummins. Although skipper had scored 12 not out in 68 balls which may look underwhelming but without his support, it would not be possible for Maxwell to set up this massive partnership.

Maxwell was given the Player of the Match award. He said in post- match presentation, “It was hot while fielding today, I haven’t done a lot of exercise in the heat, it got a hold on me today. I wanted to stay back and get some movement (on my legs). Not too much (when asked about plans at 92/7), just stick to the batting plans as much as possible, for me, still be positive, still look to play my shots, that LBW, it was going just above (the stumps), probably that made me be more proactive. A hint of swing and nip (off the surface), as it happens here under lights, they bowled beautifully to exploit that. It would have been nice if it was a chanceless knock, but I had my chances, to make the most of it tonight was something I can be proud of. Amazing, after the first two games, people were quick to write us off. The belief was always there (as a team), after today, it would have gone a bit higher.

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