- Aussies fight back to see off Afghanistan
- Maxwell hits sensational double century
- Australia meet South Africa in semi-finals
In a stunning display of grit and skill, Glenn Maxwell overcame injury to achieve a sensational double century against Afghanistan, propelling Australia into the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-finals. Australia are now second favourites behind hosts India.
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Incredible double ton from Maxwell sees Australia home
Maxwell took to the crease with Australia struggling at 49-4, and the situation worsened to 91-7 in pursuit of a target of 292 in Mumbai. Despite being plagued by a back injury and cramps, Maxwell played an extraordinary innings, often hobbling on one leg after reaching his century, ultimately finishing unbeaten at 201.
His partnership with Pat Cummins (12*) amounted to 202 runs, securing victory for Australia with 19 balls to spare.
Afghanistan, bolstered by Ibrahim Zadran’s historic World Cup century, posted a formidable total of 291-5. They seemed poised to join Australia in the top four, with an impressive start in the field, until Maxwell delivered one of the most memorable innings in cricket history.
Maxwell had previously set the record for the fastest World Cup century earlier in the tournament against the Netherlands. His return to the Australia side for this match, following a concussion sustained from a golf buggy incident, made his double century all the more extraordinary.
The innings was marked by breathtaking reverse sweeps for six, audacious flicks, and powerful leg-side shots executed on one leg, leaving spectators in awe of his skill and determination.
As the first Australian to achieve a double century in a men’s one-day international, Maxwell was embraced by his jubilant teammates.
This accomplishment marks the 11th double century in men’s ODI history, the first achieved in a chasing scenario, and the first by a non-opening batter in all ODIs.
Australia’s sixth consecutive victory sets the stage for a semi-final clash against South Africa. The final knockout spot will be contested by New Zealand, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, all currently tied at eight points. Whichever team takes the final spot will face table-toppers India in the semis.
Australia’s form in the second half of the group matches has rocketed them to third place in the table behind hosts and favourites India and South Africa. However, the form of Australia in recent weeks has made them favourites to overcome South Africa.
At the time of writing, Betway have Australia at 16/5 to win the tournament, ahead of the Proteas who are priced at 4/1. India, who have a 100% record and the competition’s best run-rate, are favourites at 5/6.
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