ICC World Cup 2023: Maxwell rescues Australia with double ton against Afghans

Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell smashed a historic double century, as Australia staged a remarkable win over Afghanistan in their ICC World Cup 2023 match at the Wankhede Stadium. The Aussies looked to be headed towards a humiliating loss before the all-rounder came in and plundered runs at will.

Maxwell hit an unbeaten 201 in 128 balls, laced with 21 fours and 10 sixes. This was also the first ever ODI double century scored by an Australia. It is the 11th time a double century has been scored in 50-over cricket. Maxwell surpassed Shane Watson’s 185* against Bangladesh in 2011 as the highest score by an Aussie.

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Maxwell’s 201* now holds the record for the highest individual score in an ODI run-chase. This achievement dethrones Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman, who previously smashed 193 against South Africa in 2021. It is also the highest score by a non-opener in ODI history, surpassing Zimbabwe’s Charles Coventry’s 194 against Bangladesh in 2009.

Moreover, Maxwell’s knock marks only the third instance of a double century in ODI Cricket World Cups. Chris Gayle (215 against Zimbabwe in 2015 for West Indies) and Martin Guptill (237 against West Indies in 2015 for New Zealand) were the other two scorers.

The partnership between Maxwell and skipper Pat Cummins (12*) also etched its name in the history books. Their collaboration of 202 runs stands as the highest-ever partnership for the seventh wicket or below in ODIs, eclipsing the previous record of 177 runs set by Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid of England against New Zealand in 2015.

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Maxwell reached his double century off just 128 balls, making it the second-fastest double century in ODIs. India’s Ishan Kishan holds the record for the fastest double century of all time (126 balls) against Bangladesh last year.

With 10 sixes in this match, Maxwell’s World Cup career sixes is 33. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma (45) and West Indies legend Chris Gayle (49) lead the table.

Earlier, Afghanistan chose to bat first, and Ibrahim Zadran played a steady innings, with contributions from Rahmat Shah (30), skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (26), and Azmatullah Omarzai (22), propelling Afghanistan near the 230-run mark. In the final few overs, Zadran accelerated, while Rashid Khan (35* in 18 balls, with two fours and three sixes) played a pivotal cameo, guiding Afghanistan to a total of 291/5 in 50 overs.

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Zadran also created history, becoming his country’s first-ever centurion in an ICC World Cup match. Josh Hazlewood (2/39) bowled exceptionally, while Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc, and Glenn Maxwell claimed a wicket each.

The chase of 292 seemed challenging for Australia as they were reeling at 91/7. However, Glenn Maxwell’s heroic partnership with skipper Pat Cummins resulted in a historic double-century stand. Despite battling the scorching heat and cramps, Maxwell scripted Australia’s first-ever ODI double century, concluding at 201* in just 128 balls, adorned with 21 fours and 10 sixes.

Pat Cummins provided solid support, finishing at 12*. Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, and Azhmatullah Omarzai were the standout performers with two wickets each.

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With six wins in eight games , Australia are in the in the ICC World Cup 2023 semifinals, joining India and South Africa. Meanwhile, Afghanistan have one more game to play against South Africa. A win there would keep their hopes of reaching the semifinals alive.

Unsurprisingly, Glenn Maxwell earned the ‘Player of the Match’ award, rightfully acknowledging his historic and match-winning performance.

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