- Australia clinched a nail-biting win by 3 wickets over Afghanistan in a World Cup thriller.
- Glenn Maxwell turned memorable hero with an unbeaten 201, smashing 21 fours and 10 massive sixes.
- His double ton came off just 128 balls, making it the second quickest in one-day internationals.
- Maxwell’s score is now the record for the highest by a non-opener in ODI cricket.
- Afghanistan posted a strong 291/5, thanks to Ibrahim Zadran’s 101* — a first for an Afghan in World Cups.
- The Aussies achieved the highest successful chase at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium and set a new World Cup record for their team.
Today’s match between Australia and Afghanistan will go down as a wonderful and unforgettable experience for the lovers of the game of cricket. The image of a resolute and unyielding nature of a true sportsman will always remain in our memories. Afghan Captain Hashmatullah described it as “Unbelievable,” Pat Cummins called it “Ridiculous.” Indeed, it was a magical Tuesday, and if you are an Australian cricket fan then, this news will scintillate you. In a gripping World Cup showdown, Glenn Maxwell’s stunning 201 not out steered a sinking Australia, once at 95/7 to a memorable win against Afghanistan. It was a typical, mundane Tuesday that turned thrilling as Maxwell’s knock gradually became epic, the first double ton by an Aussie in the tournament’s history.
If 201 not out by Glenn Maxwell helped Australia reach the semifinals, Afghanistan’s 291 has heralded the ambitions of young Afghans in the world of cricket. From today, you cannot take Afghanistan for granted. But for injured Mawell, it was the sheer skills and willpower that saw the score of 201 not out take Australia to the finishline. This is the first double century by an Australian cricketer in the World Cup. It consisted of 21 fours and 10 sixes in 128 balls. There is a divine spark in this great cricketer.
If it was a great day for Maxwell, as he missed being out due to Mujeeb’s failure to catch Maxwell’s ball, it was also an auspicious Tuesday for Ibrahim Zadran, who remained not out with his 101 runs. South Africa will certainly take Afghanistan seriously on Friday, the 10th of November at Ahmedabad. ‘Never give up’ was the attitude of both teams. It was also a day of wonderful twists in the tale of cricket. Almost ¾ of the time was the prediction of Afghan’s success. But the indomitable willpower of Maxwell turned the tables in favor of Australia.
Glenn Maxwell has become an icon for today’s cricketing youth. If yesterday’s match left a bitter taste in the mouths of cricket lovers due to the uncharitable demand of the Bangladesh Captain to time out Angelo Mathews, today’s game gave hope and strength of will. One is reminded here of the saying, “one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Both the Pathans and Kangaroos demonstrated today that the spirit of “never say die” matters. Hats off to the fighting spirit of Maxwell and the grit and determination of Zadran of Afghanistan!
“I feel shocking,” Maxwell laughed during the post-match presentation. “I haven’t really done a whole lot of high-intensity exercise in the heat. It certainly got a hold of me today. We came out with a plan to stay at the same end for a little bit until I could get some movement back, and luckily enough, I was able to stick it out to the end.”
Reflecting on his innings and the chances he had, Maxwell said, “I certainly had my chances. I led a charmed life out there. I was very lucky.”
On the team’s performance and the victory, Maxwell commented, “After the first two games, everyone was quick to write us off. To come back and win six straight is a great effort from this group. The belief is always there. To win a game like tonight, hopefully, that belief spreads through the changeroom.”
Pat Cummins | Australia Captain
“Ridiculous, don’t know how to describe it. Great win. It has got to be the greatest thing that has ever happened. One of those days people will say, ‘Yeah, I was at the stadium for this game.’ He [Maxwell] was great. He was calm, he always had a plan, even from 200 behind. To be able to win the game that way, it was really special.”
On whether Maxwell wanted to walk off: “We had two NSW players lining up; Zampa was on and off three times, but Maxi wanted to stay out there. It is important to remember you can win from anywhere. Real belief in the team, and we are in the semifinals now, that’s great.”
On what they could do better: “Don’t think it is the time and the place. I’m going to pause that. I think the toss is a bit tricky out here. The first 20 overs are key. Obviously, there are things we could have done better.”
Hashmatullah Shahidi | Afghanistan Captain
“Very disappointed. Cricket is a funny game. It was unbelievable for us. We were in the game. Our bowlers started very well, and the dropped chances hurt us. After that, Maxwell doesn’t stop. He played every kind of shot, and I can give credit to him. I think the dropped catches were the key. After that, Maxwell played really well. Our bowlers tried their best, but he didn’t give any chance to us. Proud of the team, but we will be disappointed tonight. We didn’t think it would be this way. Part of the game. This is cricket. We will try to come back strong against South Africa.”
He [Ibrahim Zadran] must be proud of himself: “I am also proud that he is the first Afghan with a WC hundred.”
Bonus : Enticing Nitty-Gritties from the Match
- Historic Chase: This was the highest successful ODI run chase at this venue and the highest ever for Australia in World Cups.
- Maxwell’s Milestone: Glenn Maxwell’s 201 not out is the highest score for a non-opener in ODIs.
- Sixes Galore: Maxwell’s innings included 10 sixes, making it one of the most six-laden innings in a World Cup match.
- Previous Records: The previous highest score from No.6 or below in ODIs was 175. Maxwell’s 201 not out has set a new benchmark for middle-order batsmen.
- Fastest Double Centuries: Maxwell’s double hundred, off 128 balls, is now the second-fastest double century in ODIs.
- Lowest Strike Rate in a WC Innings (Min 10 runs scored): Pat Cummins also made a record, albeit of a different kind, with a strike rate of 17.64 in this match.
- Most Sixes in a WC Innings: Maxwell’s 10 sixes in this match are among the most in a single World Cup innings, with the record being 17 by Eoin Morgan.