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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Glenn Maxwell’s Iconic Double Century Rescues Australia from Afghan World Cup Upset

In a sensational display of cricket, Glenn Maxwell, under challenging conditions, scored an unbeaten double century, reminiscent of Kapil Dev’s iconic 175* in the 1983 World Cup, to pull off one of the most remarkable World Cup victories for Australia. The match, held at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, witnessed Afghanistan on the verge of a historic upset and Maxwell’s extraordinary innings that secured a three-wicket win for Australia.

The match unfolded as a classic tale of perseverance and resilience. Afghanistan’s bowlers had Australia in dire straits, with the opponent at 7 down. Still, Maxwell emerged as the hero of the hour. Despite almost being dismissed lbw on his first ball and grappling with cramps during the latter part of his innings, Maxwell’s determination shone as he reached an unbeaten 201. Notably, he became the first Australian to score a double century in One Day International (ODI) cricket and only the third batter ever to achieve this milestone in a World Cup match.

With this incredible win, Australia secured a spot in the semifinals, joining India and South Africa, while Afghanistan, who had been on a winning streak with victories over Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Netherlands, faced a tough battle for the fourth and final knockout berth.

Ibrahim Zadran’s historic century powered Afghanistan to a respectable total of 291 for 5. Bolstered by legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s motivational words before the match, 21-year-old Zadran scored Afghanistan’s first-ever World Cup hundred. His unbeaten 129 off 143 balls showcased remarkable temperament and fitness, marking his fifth century in just his 26th ODI appearance. Zadran’s century was pivotal in guiding Afghanistan to a competitive total.

Despite Maxwell’s heroic efforts, Afghanistan’s bowlers had initially put Australia in a challenging position. Naveen-ul-Haq’s early breakthroughs and Azmatullah Omarzai’s notable performance posed a significant threat. The Australian team faced a daunting task of chasing a target that had never been successfully achieved at the Wankhede.

However, Maxwell’s extraordinary batting display, even while dealing with physical discomfort, turned the tables. Teaming up with captain Pat Cummins, Maxwell led the charge and steered Australia to a memorable victory. His innings featured impressive boundaries and sixes, culminating in a record-breaking chase. Despite physical discomfort, Maxwell’s determination to secure victory was unwavering, and his remarkable innings will be etched in cricket history as one of the greatest World Cup performances ever.

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