Cummins supported Maxwell with an unbeaten 12 from 68 balls, while Maxwell smashed 21 fours and 10 sixes, relying on sheer determination to propel Australia to victory despite his physical limitations due to cramping.
Maxwell’s performance was marked by early challenges, including surviving a hat-trick ball and multiple review appeals. Admitting his lucky breaks, Maxwell expressed pride in making the most of his opportunities.
His outstanding display left even his captain, Cummins, in awe, hailing it as “the greatest ODI innings that’s ever happened,” and pointing out the sheer disbelief of the Australian dressing-room at Maxwell’s exceptional strokeplay.
“Maxi was out of this world. It’s got to be the greatest ODI innings that’s ever happened,” Cummins commented.
When asked about the partnership, Cummins humorously stated, “You just [let] Maxi do his thing … I mean, how am I going to say anything to someone like that? He was great.”
Despite the challenges, Maxwell emphasized the need to remain positive, eventually realizing the pivotal moment that sparked the turnaround in the match for Australia.
Maxwell’s phenomenal innings shifted the dynamics of the World Cup standings, securing Australia’s place in the semi-finals after an impressive recovery from early losses, revealing the unwavering belief and resilience of the team.
Cummins highlighted the impact of their victory on their title rivals, acknowledging the need for opposition teams to adjust their strategies when facing players in such exceptional form.
Naturally, Afghanistan’s captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi, expressed disappointment at the missed opportunity for his team and credited Maxwell for his exceptional performance that ultimately led to their defeat.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket
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