Maxwell’s Heroic 201* Rescues Australia in World Cup Thriller

In a sensational display of cricket, Glenn Maxwell’s unbeaten 201 runs guided Australia to victory against Afghanistan. Catch the thrilling highlights here.

Severely hampered by cramps and barely able to move, Glenn Maxwell produced a remarkable one-day innings, smashing an unbeaten 201 from 128 balls, leading Australia to a stunning three-wicket victory against Afghanistan in Match 39 of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.

Australia had appeared to be heading for a humiliating defeat when they were reduced to 91/7 in the 19th over while chasing Afghanistan’s total of 291/5. Afghanistan’s score was built around their first World Cup century by Ibrahim Zadran, who scored 129 not out from 143 balls, and a brisk 35 from Rashid Khan in just 18 deliveries.

However, it was Maxwell and skipper Pat Cummins who turned the tables, forming an incredible partnership of 202 runs off 170 balls for the 8th wicket. Maxwell contributed 179 runs of those, while Cummins remained unbeaten with 12 from 68 balls.

Maxwell’s performance was nothing short of sensational. He held the fort for Australia when they were teetering at 91/7 and even got involved in a run-out with Marnus Labuschagne. With Australia needing 21 runs from the last four overs, Maxwell unleashed a breathtaking assault, scoring 22 runs off just four deliveries in the 47th over, despite his cramps limiting his movement.

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This unbeaten 202-run partnership was the highest for the 8th wicket in Australia’s ODI history, surpassing the 119-run stand between Paul Reiffel and Shane Warne against South Africa in 1993-94. It also marked the third double-century partnership in World Cups and the first in India.

Maxwell’s outstanding knock culminated in an unbeaten 201 from 128 balls, including 21 boundaries and 10 maximums, securing Australia’s place in the World Cup semifinals as the third-placed team with 12 points from eight matches.

Afghanistan had themselves to blame, as they missed two opportunities to dismiss Glenn Maxwell, including an LBW chance that went against them.

Australia found themselves in deep trouble early, reaching 87/6 in the 15th over after seamers Naveen-ul-Haq and Azmatullah Omarzai struck early, claiming two wickets each. Rashid Khan’s spin further troubled the Australian batters, resulting in two more wickets.

Maxwell, who survived an LBW review and a couple of dropped chances, made the most of his nine lives, guiding Australia to an improbable victory. He and skipper Pat Cummins built a 100-run partnership for the 8th wicket off 89 balls, with Maxwell contributing 86 of those runs.

With Australia needing 47 runs from 42 balls, Maxwell played a match-turning innings, hammering 16 runs off Azmatullah, including two crucial fours and a brilliant six. He continued his onslaught by hitting a six off Naveen-ul-Haq in the next over, making the required run rate manageable.

Australia had appeared destined for defeat from the very start as Afghanistan took four early wickets during the powerplay.

Maxwell’s partnership with Stoinis saw them recovering from a dire situation. After reaching 199/7 in the 34th over, they set Australia on a path to victory.

Maxwell reached his fifty in 51 deliveries and then raced to his second fifty in just 25 balls, including three fours and three sixes, ultimately reaching his hundred in 76 balls. Australia reached 200 in the 35th over and looked poised for victory.

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Maxwell continued to dominate, striking Mujeeb Ur Rahman for back-to-back fours in the 16th over. As Australia crossed the 150-run mark, Maxwell celebrated by hitting beautiful sixes off successive deliveries in the 29th over, establishing control over the match.

In the earlier innings, Zadran was the linchpin of the Afghanistan team, scoring an unbeaten 129 from 143 balls, guiding them to a challenging total of 291/5 in their 50 overs. Zadran’s innings included partnerships of 83 for the second wicket, 52 for the third wicket, and a crucial 58-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Rashid Khan in the last six overs.

Zadran’s century was his fifth in ODIs but his first in the World Cup. However, Afghanistan initially struggled, managing only 46/1 in the powerplay.

At the halfway mark, they were 122/2, scoring at a rate of 4.88 runs per over. In the final ten overs, they blasted 96 runs, pushing the score to a competitive level.

In conclusion, Maxwell’s extraordinary innings and Afghanistan’s inability to capitalize on opportunities led to Australia’s thrilling victory. This turned out to be a nail-biting match in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup.

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