Glenn Maxwell played one of the greatest innings in the history of the World Cup, hitting an astonishing unbeaten double century, as Australia defeated Afghanistan by three wickets at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, India, on Tuesday.
Maxwell, 35, terrorised Afghanistan’s bowlers and hit them all over the park as he, alongside skipper Pat Cummins, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The 35-year-old came to bat when his side was 49-4 after Josh Inglis had just lost his wicket for a golden duck. However, Maxwell got a life on two different occasions as he was dropped by Hashmatullah Shahidi and Mujeeb ur Rehman.
Afghanistan’s bowlers caused all kinds of trouble for Australian batters in the early overs and were on the way to a certain victory. Still, Maxwell alone became the reason for their pain as the right-handed destructive batter gave no choice or chance to Shahidi’s men.
Maxwell was largely supported by Cummins who played a calm and sensible knock, scoring 12 runs in 68 balls.
The 35-year-old also suffered cramps and, in the last few overs, he was unable to run while also playing shots without using any footwork. Glenn Maxwell became the first ever batter to score a 200 in a chase in ODIs and also the first player to score 2 centuries in a WC edition batting at No. 5 or lower.
Batting first, Ibrahim Zadran was the standout player as he became the first Afghani batter to score a century in the history of the World Cup. While other Afghani batters failed to score big it was Zadran who came as an opener and stayed till the very end, helping his side to reach a good total.
Rashid Khan significantly supported Zadran during the last five overs as the all-rounder played a rapid knock, scoring 35 off just 18 deliveries with two fours and three sixes. Rahmat Shah (30), skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (26) and Azmatullah Omarzai (22) were the other contributors to the winning side.
No Australia bowler other than Josh Hazlewood bowled up to the expectations as the right-handed pacer only conceded 39 runs in nine overs and also took two important wickets. Afghanistan will now play another important and must-win match against South Africa on November 9. Meanwhile, Australia will take on Bangladesh on November 11 in their last group match.