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Maxwell hits double hundred, rescues Australia from rubble

Hard hitter batter Glenn Maxwell has hit a quickfire double century to provide Australia an unbelievable victory rescuing them from the rubble against Afghanistan in the 39th game of the World Cup in Delhi.

He completed his first carrier double hundred, also the first in the 2023 World Cup, playing just 128 balls and became the one-man army to take the win away from Afghanistan like a hawk at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.

After that victory, Australia qualified for the semifinals as the third team after India and South Africa with one match in had.

In reply to 291, Australia kept losing wickets from the very beginning of their innings, starting with four runs in 1.2 overs.

At one stage the five-time world champions lost their seven wickets in 91 runs and fell on the brink of danger.

However, it was Maxwell who did not give up hope as he started counterattacking the Afghan bowlers and made a 202-run match-winning partnership with skipper Pat Cummins (12 runs from 68 balls).

Maxwell got 201 runs from 128 balls with 10 sixes and 21 fours.

Apart from the run-monster, no Aussie batters had any notable contribution in the memorable win.

Naveen-ul-Haq, Azmatullah Omarzai and Rashid Khan took two wickets each for the Afghans while another wicket fell with run-out.

Earlier, Afghanistan posted the challenging total of 291 runs losing just five wickets with the help of a 143-ball 129 from opener Ibrahim Zadran.

Opting to bat, Afghanistan got a quite good start with the bat of Rahmanullah Gurbaz (21) and Ibrahim Zadran. The pair added 38 runs in the first wicket.

After that, Ibrahim started building partnerships with other batters from the other side. He provided an 83-run stand with Rahmat Shah (30), a 52-run stand with skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi and a 58-run stormy stand with Rashid Khan (35).

Ibrahim along with Rashid added 58 runs together from just 28 deliveries to help Afghanistan to post the respectable total at the end.

Josh Hazlewood took the highest two wickets for Australia while each of Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa got one.

Playing XIs

Australia: Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis(w), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins(c), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi(c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil(w), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq.