Glenn Maxwell (Photo-PTI)
Australia has a spectacular victory in the 39th match of the World Cup-2023. They have defeated Afghanistan by 3 wickets. In the match played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Australia achieved the target of 292 runs by losing 7 wickets in 46.5 overs. Glenn Maxwell scored a double century. He remained unbeaten on 201 runs. Maxwell faced only 128 balls. He made a partnership of 202 runs with Pat Cummins for the 8th wicket. With this victory, Australia has confirmed its place in the semi-finals. He has 12 points in 8 matches. He is at third place in the points table.
The Afghan team won the toss and decided to bat first. Thanks to the century of opener Ibrahim Zadran, the team scored 291 runs at the loss of 5 wickets in 50 overs. Ibrahim Zadran became the first batsman for Afghanistan to score a century in the World Cup. Zadran played an unbeaten inning of 129 runs in 143 balls with eight fours and three sixes. Afghanistan team was successful in adding 64 runs in the last five overs. Rashid Khan batted brilliantly in the death overs and scored unbeaten 35 runs in 18 balls.
Zadran is the first Afghan batsman to do so
21-year-old Zadran, who made his debut in One Day International cricket four years ago, scored his fifth century in only his 26th match in this important match of his team at Wankhede Stadium. Apart from being the first player from Afghanistan to score a century in the World Cup, he is also the first batsman from his country to score a century against Australia. Earlier, the best individual score for Afghanistan in the World Cup was in the name of Samiullah Shinwari who scored 96 runs against Scotland in Dunedin during the 2015 World Cup.
Zadran proved captain Hashmatullah Shahidi’s decision to bat by winning the toss and returning unbeaten on a batting-friendly pitch, took his team to a strong score. Zadran said during the innings break, I had a good discussion with Sachin Tendulkar yesterday, he shared many of his experiences. I am grateful to him for sharing his experiences and giving me a lot of confidence.
The bowlers were not getting any help from the wicket and Afghanistan’s batsmen made a cautious start. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (21) was the first batsman to be dismissed when he gave an easy catch to Mitchell Starc at deep backward square leg off Josh Hazlewood (2 for 39) in the eighth over. Zadran and Rahmat Shah (30) took over the innings by making a partnership of 83 runs in 100 balls for the second wicket and created a good platform for Afghanistan.
In the middle overs, Azmatullah Umarzai tried to increase the run rate by playing an inning of 22 runs in 18 balls with two sixes and one four. He was dismissed by leg spinner Adam Zampa (one wicket for 58 runs), who has taken 20 wickets so far in the World Cup. In the end, Rashid Khan played an important role in taking the team’s score close to 300 runs by playing an unbeaten inning of 35 runs with two fours and three sixes in 18 balls.