Maxwell’s sensational double century powers Australia into semifinals
Mumbai: Battling pain and exhaustion, Glenn Maxwell conjured arguably the greatest knock (201 not out off 128 balls) in the history of limited overs cricket to singlehandedly propel Australia to a sensational three-wicket win over Afghanistan in the World Cup here on Tuesday.
With this, Australia became the third team to enter the semifinals.
Opting to bat, opener Ibrahim Zadran became the first Afghanistan batter to score a World Cup hundred and guided his team to 291 for five.
In reply, Australia were down and out at 91 for seven in the 19th over. That’s when Maxwell decided to take charge and led an incredible comeback while adding 202 runs for the eighth wicket with skipper Pat Cummins (12 not out), who watched the mayhem unfolding from the other end.
In all, Maxwell smashed 21 boundaries and 10 sixes.
Earlier, Zadran carried his bat through the innings and finished on 129 not out off 143 balls.
Afghanistan lost opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz for a 25-ball 21 but Zadran and Rahmat Shah stitched 83 runs for the second wicket to lay a good foundation before the latter was dismissed by Glenn Maxwell for a 44-ball 30 in the 25th over with the score reading 121.
Unperturbed by the loss of few wickets at the other end, Zadran continued to accumulate runs at a decent rate to prop up his team against the five-time world champions.
Rashid Khan smashed unbeaten 35 off 18 balls towards the end.
Afghanistan: 291/5 in 50 overs (Ibrahim Zadran 129 not out; Josh Hazlewood 2/39).
Australia: 293/7 in 46.5 overs (Glenn Maxwell 201 not out).