AUS vs AFG Review: Maxwell manifests the greatest chase to put Australia in semis

Australia and Afghanistan faced off at the scorching Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in the 39th match of the ICC World Cup 2023 and it was an unforgettable affair in every sense of the word.

Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Their performance with the bat was remarkable, primarily guided by their opener, Ibrahim Zadran, who crafted an unbeaten 129 off 143 deliveries. Zadran played a pivotal role in several partnerships, including an 83-run stand with Rahmat Shah for the second wicket.

With a prudent approach to retaining wickets, Afghanistan accelerated their scoring in the final overs. Thanks to impressive cameos by Azmatullah and Rashid Khan. Rashid Khan concluded the innings with an undefeated 35 runs off 18 balls. While Australia’s bowling was generally disciplined, some puzzling bowling changes made by Pat Cummins raised eyebrows.

Australia’s pursuit of the 292-run target got off to a rocky start. They were losing early wickets and found themselves at a perilous 91/7 at one point. However, a superhuman innings by Glenn Maxwell defied all logic. Maxwell’s extraordinary 201 not out off 128 balls, achieved while nursing a semi-functional back and playing on one leg towards the fag end of the match, orchestrated an astonishing turnaround. Maxwell’s heroics transformed Australia from the brink of defeat to the brink of victory, creating an unforgettable spectacle.

Top Performers of the Match

Glenn Maxwell (201 of 128)

Glenn Maxwell was responsible for 82% of Australia’s total score while chasing 292. His incredible performance included 21 fours and an impressive 10 sixes. He single-handedly guided Australia to victory in a remarkable display of skill and power.

Josh Hazlewood (2/39, 9 overs)

In contrast to the other Australian bowlers, Hazlewood maintained an economical bowling rate and took 2 wickets consistently against the Afghan batters. He has maintained good form throughout the World Cup.

What next?

Going ahead, Australia will play against Bangladesh on November 11, while Afghanistan will take on South Africa on November 10.