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Cricket World Cup: Maxwell shines as Australia secure semi-final spot

Glenn Maxwell was the star of the show as he managed to battle through injury to hit a remarkable double century to help Australia see off Afghanistan and book their place in the World Cup semi-finals.

Maxwell had to battle against the scoreboard, a back injury and cramp to help Australia secure a memorable three-wicket victory over Afghanistan and secure a clash with South Africa in the semi-finals.

Maxwell defies the odds

Arriving at the crease with Australia on 49-4 and facing a hat-trick ball, with the Aussies chasing an Afghan total of 291, Maxwell was up against it from the off in Mumbai.

The 35-year-old had some luck along the way after being dropped twice but he produced an astonishing innings to finish on 201 not out.

Captain Pat Cummins also played an important role as he managed 12 not out and allowed Maxwell to do much of the damage at the other end.

An exhausted Maxell admitted he had felt better after the win but was delighted to get the victory under the circumstances in Mumbai.

"Horrific, I feel shocking,” he said. “It was quite hot when we were fielding, I haven't done a whole lot of high-intensity exercise in the heat. It got a hold of me, I was lucky to stick it out until the end.

"It would've been nice if it was chanceless, I've lived a very charmed life out there. To make the most of it, be not out with Patty (Cummins) out there at the end I'm proud of."

Maxwell earns skipper praise

With an important supporting role, Cummins helped Australia get over the line with 19 balls to spare against an Afghan side that might be wondering how they didn’t finish the job in this one.

Cummins was full of praise for Maxwell and believed his innings was one of the best knocks he’s seen in the 50-over game.

"Just ridiculous. I don't know how you describe that,” Cummins said. "A great win but Maxi was just out of this world. It's got to be the greatest ODI innings that has ever happened.

"It's important. Not only from our team, thinking you can win from anywhere, but opposition look at that as well. It gives us real belief and we're into the semi-finals now so that's great."

Proteas in semi-finals

Australia have a final group game to look forward to against Bangladesh in Pune before their confirmed showdown with South Africa in the semi-finals.

The Aussies are 1.12 to win their last group encounter with Bangladesh, who themselves are 6.00 to cause an upset at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday 11th November. 

South Africa are in action the day before for their final group game when they take on Afghanistan in Ahmedabad.

The Proteas are 1.28 to go into their semi-final clash with Australia on the back of a win, while Afghanistan are 3.75 to end their World Cup on a high.  

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