Glenn Maxwell’s marathon 201-run knock lifted Australia to edge spirited Afghanistan by three wickets to qualify for the ICC World Cup 2023 semi-finals.
Ibrahim Zadran started the innings cautiously after his captain opted to bat, however, he lost his opening partner Rahmanullah Gurbaz (21) in the eighth over with a meagre 38 runs on the board.
He was joined by Rahmat Shah and together they added 83 runs for the second wicket to drag Afghanistan’s total to 121 before Shah was dismissed by Glenn Maxwell.
Rahmat Shah played a cautious knock of 30 runs from 44 balls, with a solitary boundary.
Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi assisted Zadran in knitting a 52-run partnership for the third wicket but he was cast by Mitchell Starc after scoring 26 off 43.
Ibrahim Zadran held on to one end, amidst Australia’s clinical bowling, losing partner after partner and completing his fourth ODI hundred.
Rashid Khan joined the fray in the 46th over, with the scoreboard reading 233, he along with settled Zadran added 58 valuable runs from only 28 balls to help lift Afghanistan’s total to 291 in their allocated 50 overs.
Rashid Khan’s unbeaten 35-run cameo featured two boundaries and three sixes from 18 balls.
Meanwhile, Zadran finished his innings unbeaten at 129 runs from 143 balls with the help of eight boundaries and three sixes.
Australia’s Josh Hazlewood picked two wickets, while Starc, Maxwell and Adam Zampa managed one wicket each.