Pat Cummins had the best seat as Glenn Maxwell played the innings of his life against Afghanistan to guide Australia to the World Cup semifinals.
Australia was left reeling at 91 for 7 when Cummins walked out to bat. A defeat loomed but Maxwell battled cramps and guided the team home, with an unbeaten 201.
While he dealt in fours and sixes, Cummins hung in there with an unbeaten 68-ball-12 and played a key role in forging an unbeaten 202-run stand for the eighth wicket.
“It’s the greatest ODI innings that I have seen. It is probably the greatest ODI innings ever,” Cummins said on Tuesday, heaping praise on Maxwell.
“We were just chatting about it with all the players and we’ve decided it’s one of those ‘I was there in the stadium’ days when Maxwell chased down that total by himself…”
The Australian captain was hopeful of Maxwell recovering in time before its game against Bangladesh.
“I am sure he’ll be fine. He was cramping but I think you saw out there how much he loves playing for Australia and can do anything to play. So, I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Cummins said.
While the Australian camp was elated with the win, it was heartbreak for the Afghans.
“We had got ourselves in a position and we should have capitalised our chances,” said head coach Jonathan Trott.
Terming Maxwell’s knock as a ‘spectacular and world-class innings’, Trott felt that this defeat would be a learning for his team.
“It’s a good lesson for our boys because if you take your eyes off the ball and think far ahead, this game can bite you quickly.
“It’s a disappointing loss but for a young, developing side you make sure to learn how cut-throat this game is at the highest level. You need to be on our game, not for 70 overs, but for 100 overs,” Trott said.
Afghanistan takes on South Africa in Ahmedabad on Friday and the head coach hopes to bag two points and stay in the hunt for the semifinal.
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