Glenn Maxwell’s unbelievable knock of 201 rescues Australia from 91-7, to chase down 291 against Afghanistan at the ICC World Cup.
Afghanistan won the toss on a sunny morning at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and elected to bat.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran got Afghanistan to a decent start scoring 38 in 7.5 Overs.
Butt Gurbaz’s innings of 21 off 18 was cut short by Josh Hazlewood,, as his attempted pull shot, found the hands of Mitchell Starc at deep fine leg at 38-1Embed from Getty Images
Rahmat Shah looked in fine touch with his innings of 30.Embed from Getty Images
Unfortunately, he could not add to it, as his lofted cover drive of Maxwell, found the hands of Hazlewood, at 121-2.Embed from Getty Images
Zadran looked to be controlling the innings at the other end.
Hashmatullah Shahidi joined in at the other end.Embed from Getty Images
But the Afghan Skipper was castled for 26 by Starc at 173-3.Embed from Getty Images
Azmatullah Omarzai cashed in with a cameo of 22 from 18.
But he could not add to it, as he was caught by Maxwell of Zampa, at 210-4.Embed from Getty Images
Zadran brought up his maiden ODI hundred in 130 balls.Embed from Getty Images
Mohammed Nabi hit a lusty blow.Embed from Getty Images
Butt Hazelwood sent him back to the pavilion at 233-5.
Rashid Khan’s cameo of 35 from 18, propelled the Afghans to a score of 291-5 from 50 overs. this was a terrific effort from Shahidi’s team, but they were going to need early wickets to stand a chance of defending it.Embed from Getty Images
Naveen Ul Haq got them off to the perfect start by dismissing Travis Head for a second ball duck, at 0-1.
Warner and Marsh started to build a partnership to get Australia back on track.
But just as they were beginning to eat into Afghanistan’s total, Naveen caught Marsh Plumb LBW for 14 at 43-2Embed from Getty Images
And Omarzai dismissed Warner for 18, at 49-3.
The right-arm speedster made 49-4, dismissing Josh Inglis for a golden duck.Embed from Getty Images
And to make matters worse for Australia, Marnus Labuschagne was ran out my Rahmat Shah at 69-5. Australia was in deep trouble.Embed from Getty Images
Maxwell started to get his innings going.Embed from Getty Images
Stoinis joined in at the other end.
But a poor shot off Rashid meant that he was out LBW for 87-6, and despite Maxwell being at the crease, it was going to take something rather special to get Australia over the line.Embed from Getty Images
And things got even worse when Starc was brilliantly caught behind by Ikram Alikhil, at 91-7.Embed from Getty Images
But it was the Maxwell show from there onwards, as he was given a life by Alikhil who dropped him on 24, and Mujeeb who dropped him on 33.Embed from Getty Images
And those two chances proved to be costly, as, despite suffering from a back injury, his magnificent double hundred took Australia home with 3.1 overs to spare.Embed from Getty Images
This was truly one of the greatest Innings of all time, as Maxwell became the second person after Chris Gayle, to score 200 in a World Cup game.
Post Match Reaction
A gutted Shahidi was critical of his side’s performance, particularly in the second half of Australia’s innings.
“We are very disappointed, it was unbelievable for us. Our bowlers started very well but the dropped chances cost us. “We will do our best to try and think about the next game and come back strong against South Africa on Friday.”Shahidi Sky Sports
Maxwell expressed how tough it was to bat with a bad back in searing hot conditions.
“Horrific, I feel shocking. It was quite hot when we were fielding, I haven’t done a whole lot of high intensity exercise in the heat. It got a hold of me, I was lucky to stick it out until the end.”It would’ve been nice if it was chanceless, I’ve lived a very charmed life out there. To make the most of it, be not out with Patty (Cummins) out there at the end I’m proud of.”Maxwell BBC Sport
While the Australian captain described it as ‘ridiculous’.
“Just ridiculous. I don’t know how you describe that.”A great win but Maxi was just out of this world. It’s got to be the greatest ODI innings that has ever happened. “It’s important. Not only from our team, thinking you can win from anywhere, but opposition look at that as well. It gives us real belief and we’re into the semi-finals now so that’s great.”Cummins: BBC Sport
The win for Australia sends them through to the semi-finals along with India and South Africa. Afghanistan are still in the hunt, but they will need to beat the Proteas on Friday and hope that Sri Lanka defeats New Zealand on Thursday and England beats Pakistan on Saturday to qualify for the semi-finals.
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