Glenn Maxwell was the talk of the town in Mumbai, and across the cricketing fraternity on Tuesday as he helped Australia steal a three-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the 2023 World Cup, after coming close to victory at one step.
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Chasing a target of 292 against Afghanistan, Australia were chasing 91/7, but then Maxwell came up with the rescue act to pull off a miraculous run at the iconic Wankhede Stadium.
World Cup 2023: ‘He wanted to be positive,’ says Glenn Maxwell as he faces Afghanistan
World Cup 2023: Glenn Maxwell’s double century guides Australia to semi-finals with miracle win over Afghanistan
Thousands of Afghanistan supporters left heartbroken, but the tournament had its fair share of moments. Let’s look at some of those:
Glenn Maxwell leads by example
There are some memorable moments in this edition of the Cricket World Cup. Be it the record ton equaled by Virat Kohli, or the amazing Netherlands South Africa.
However, nothing could come close to what Glenn Maxwell did on Tuesday.
Maxwell came into bat at number six after the dismissal of Josh Inglis. Australia were in trouble at 49/4 at that time.
All hope was almost lost for the Aussies. Azmastullah Omarzai had just removed David Warner and Inglis in the ninth over. Maxwell was on strike and Azmat was on a hat trick. Although Maxwell would get off the ball hat-trick, he continued to lose his teammates at the other end.
Having a supporting character in Pat Cummins would allow Maxwell to bat freely. He would target the midwicket boundary against Noor Ahmad and Mohammad Nabi, playing a range of shots from slog sweeps to straight drives.
Although Maxwell, who suffered from scarcity during his innings, managed to hit 76 deliveries, he took only 52 balls for his double ton, which was the swing over midwicket from Mujeeb’s ball in the 47th over, in the end Australia seals the victory.
That was a great example of Maxwell special at the Maximum City.
Ibrahim Zadran century
Just hours before Australia could turn things around, all eyes were on Afghanistan’s Ibrahim Zadran.
The 21-year-old would register his fifth century in ODIs. This was even more special, not only for Ibrahim but for the whole of Afghanistan, as he became the first batsman from the country to score a century in a World Cup tournament.
Ibrahim opened his fifty in 62 balls, opening the attacks, before reaching his age with a more defensive approach, in 131 balls.
Ibrahim later revealed what batting legend Sachin Tendulkar said when they met each other, saying that the Master Blaster had given him the confidence to do well.
Game Rashid Khan
While Ibrahim Zadran stole the limelight in Afghanistan’s batting, Rashid Khan played his bit with the bat, playing a quick cameo of 35 off 18 deliveries.
Rashid came into bat in the 46thth after the dismissal of Mohammad Nabi, and went on to forge a 58-run stand with Ibrahim, helping the Afghans reach 291/5 in 50 overs.
Risteid hit two fours and three sixes during his entertaining knock.
The beginning of a dream for Naveen
Naveen-ul-Haq could not have asked for a better start against Australia. Early in the second game, the pacer faced Travis Head.
The Head, however, failed to make an impact on Tuesday. He faced angling as he delivered it outside off, and Yin, looking for the defense forward, ended up getting the outside of the bat towards the wicketkeeper’s hands.
Naveen Mitchell would also dismiss Marsh, finishing with figures of 2/47.
Azmatullah has magic
Azmatullah Omarzai had a brilliant start to the ninth over of Australia’s chase.
In the first ball of the innings, he would enter the wicket of David Warner by dismantling the stump to clear it. This was over after Azmat gave Warner a wife.
Next ball, Azmat came up with an outswinger to remove Inglis, who got the outside on the way to Ibrahim Zadran at first slip.
It was not to be a hat trick for Azmat, however, as Glenn Maxwell certainly had other plans.
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