2023 ODI World Cup digest: Epic Maxwell puts Australia in semi-finals, England in Champions Trophy fight

2023 ODI World Cup digest: Epic Maxwell puts Australia in semi-finals, England in Champions Trophy fight

The Men’s 2023 ODI World Cup is now building towards the final on November 19. Each morning we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you the insights from our reporters on the ground.

Top Story: Maxwell 201* brings home the Australian miracle and a semi-final

Australia 293 for 7 (Maxwell 201*) beat Afghanistan 291 for 5 (Ibrahim 129*, Rashid 35*) by three wickets

At one point, Australia were 91 for 7 chasing 292. Then Glenn Maxwell Glenn Maxwelled his way to a double-century and not only did they win the game, they also sealed their place in the World Cup semi-finals.

After Ibrahim Zadran became Afghanistan’s first-ever centurion in World Cups, Naveen-ul-Haq and Azmatullah Omarzai shredded Australia’s top order as they threatened to script a famous win at the Wankhede. But Maxwell intervened with a sensational 201 not out, 179 of which were scored in an unbroken 202-run partnership with his captain Pat Cummins, to flip the script. The result confirmed Australia’s place in the final four, along with hosts India and South Africa, and left Afghanistan heart-broken.

Match analysis: Maxwell stands tallest in adversity to deliver Australia their knock-out blow

Glenn Maxwell was down. He limped through for his 147th run – the 35th single of his innings – and crumpled onto the Wankhede turf, clutching his hamstring, his face clenched in pain. As his muscles cramped and spasmed, Maxwell jerked on the ground, his movements involuntary as his lower body took on a mind of his own.

While trying to calm it, Australia’s physiotherapist Nick Jones explained to Maxwell that if he walked off, it would probably be difficult to get back on. In the distance, Adam Zampa came down the change-room stairs, ready to take Maxwell’s place. And that was when he decided that was not going to happen.

Maxwell was down, but he was not out and he certainly wasn’t going to choose to be.

Reaction: Cummins hails ‘the greatest ODI innings that’s ever happened’

Asked how he was feeling after his exertions, Glenn Maxwell said at the Player-of-the-Match presentation: “Horrific! I feel shocking! It was obviously quite hot when we’re fielding today, and I haven’t really done a whole lot of high-intensity exercise in the heat, and it certainly got a hold of me today.

“We came out with a plan to stay at the same end for a little bit until I could get some movement back, and luckily enough I was able to stick it out to the end.”

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England vs Netherlands, Pune (2pm IST; 8.30am GMT; 7.30pm AEDT)

“Champions of Europe… you’ll never sing that!”

That’s right, here’s one in the eye for all those glory-seekers in the upper echelons of the World Cup table, queuing up for their invite to the big dance in Ahmedabad in two weeks’ time. There’s a punier title up for grabs in Pune on Wednesday – so puny, in fact, that it’s not even an official title, unlike the one that an England amateur team claimed at European Cricket Championships in Malaga last month. And look who they beat by eight wickets in the final… none other than the defending champions, Netherlands! Call off this farce! Cricket’s come home already!

In all seriousness, England would be all too happy to walk away from this miserable campaign right now.

Feature: How Netherlands will plot for their best shot at Champions Trophy

On Tuesday afternoon in Pune’s JW Marriott Hotel, three men will crowd around a laptop screen and devise a plan to achieve a win which would rank among the most significant in Netherlands’ cricketing history.

Beat England on Wednesday and Netherlands will be on the cusp of qualification for the 2025 Champions Trophy, a tournament designed specifically to exclude teams like them. Scott Edwards, Ryan Cook and Ryan van Niekerk – their captain, coach and bowling coach – will know exactly what is at stake when they work out their strategy.

“The three of us will go through videos individually,” Edwards explained to ESPNcricinfo. “We do a fair bit of stuff on our own. We’ll have our own ideas and plans, then we’ll all come together, pick the best ones and mould it all together. Usually, one of us has to buy dinner, and then we go from there.”

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