ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023: Grit, confidence, willpower, determination and resolve are the words that we regularly read and listen. But, thousands of Cricket fans at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, and millions of their counterparts around the world Tuesday November 07, 2023 saw these words in action, real action.
Yes, the cricket fans around the world saw the live meaning of these words in Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
Australia was playing against Afghanistan in their penultimate Group Match of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in front of a cheery Mumbai crowd Tuesday. Afghanistan won the toss and decided to bat first, scoring 291 runs in 50 overs.
Chasing not stiff but not too easy target as well, Australians were in trouble from the start of their innings. Azmat (Azmatullah Omarzai) and Naveen (Naveen ul Haq) sent to pavilion 04 Australian batsmen in their opening spell. Rashid Khan joined them later and sent home two other batsmen, leaving the commentators with no option but to write off the Australian for this match.
What happened later is a history.
Australia was struggling at 91/7 when Glenn Maxwell was joined by Skipper Pat Cummins. Maxwell took command in his hand and single-handedly took his team to victory, and a sure spot in the 2023 World Cup Semi Finals.
In his historic innings, Maxwell sored a lovely 201 runs – highest individual score in this world cup. But the story doesn’t end here. Cummins and Maxwell together stitched a 202-run partnership, out of which the Australian captain scored just 12 runs in 68 balls.
While playing the record breaking innings, Maxwell had to battle cramps and needed physio’s assistance multiple times. Though given medical aid, Maxwell was visibly uncomfortable and was hardly able to walk, let alone run for runs.
The asking run rate was more than six runs per over and every run was important. But, injured Maxwell was not able to run. On the other hand, Cummins was unable to play big shots. Still, Maxwell did not look worried. Failing to run for singles and twos, Maxwell went for 4s and 6s with such an ease and confidence that his innings will remain in the memory of cricket fans for years to come.
While scoring unbeaten 201, Maxwell also became the first batsman to hit a double hundred during a run chase in ODI cricket history. He also broke David Warner's record for the highest score by an Australian as he raced past 178 (which also came against Afghanistan in 2015) as Afghanistan suffered a heartbreak, crumbling under the pressure of the onslaught.
With this victory, Australia sealed its spot in the Cricket World Cup Semi Finals with India and South Africa.
For the 4th team to reach the Semi Finals, the battle is on between Pakistan and New Zealand.
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