Australia, five-time champions, found themselves at 91-7 while chasing 292 in Mumbai. They appeared to be on the brink of joining the list of notable teams beaten by Afghanistan in this edition, alongside title-holders England, 1996 winners Pakistan, and 1992 World Cup champions Sri Lanka.
However, Maxwell, who was given a reprieve when dropped on 33, responded magnificently under testing conditions.He concluded the match with his 10th six, achieving a World Cup double hundred and becoming only the third batsman in history to reach this milestone in the tournament.
Maxwell had his chances and he made full use of it by making a mockery of Afghanistan bowling who put the Aussies under the pump right from the start of their chase.
“It would have been nice if it was a chanceless knock, but I had my chances, to make the most of it tonight was something I can be proud of. Amazing, after the first two games, people were quick to write us off. The belief was always there (as a team), after today, it would have gone a bit higher,” Maxwell said at the post match presentation.
“It was hot while fielding today, I haven’t done a lot of exercise in the heat, it got a hold on me today. I wanted to stay back and get some movement (on my legs).
“Not too much (when asked about plans at 92/7), just stick to the batting plans as much as possible, for me, still be positive, still look to play my shots, that LBW, it was going just above (the stumps), probably that made me be more proactive. A hint of swing and nip (off the surface), as it happens here under lights, they bowled beautifully to exploit that,” Maxwell added.
Australia vs Afghanistan: Glenn Maxwell’s ‘Superhuman’ innings seals nail-biting victory over Afghanistan for Australia
Maxwell struck a total of 21 boundaries and sent the ball over the boundary rope 10 times. Remarkably, many of these boundaries were scored while he was struggling on one leg.
While Maxwell displayed this outstanding performance, Pat Cummins stayed not out on 12 runs from 68 deliveries. Their unbroken eighth-wicket partnership was significant, accumulating a total of 202 runs, crucial in steering Australia to an unexpected but spectacular win.