Maxwell finished on 201 off 128 balls, reaching his double and finishing the match with a tenth six, in what was being described as the greatest ODI innings of all time.
For much of the time after reaching his century Maxwell could barely move due to cramp and he had come very close to retiring hurt – so much so that Adam Zampa had made his way down the steps ready to come onto the field.
“It’s so fresh at the moment I’m a bit numb to it,” Maxwell told reporters. “It was great fun. It just felt like it was me and Patty [Cummins] having fun out there. I’ll probably reflect a bit more over the next few days and hopefully recover and get some movement back in my hamstring and calves. It’s pretty raw at the moment.”
On the host broadcast, Ricky Ponting said: “I’ve watched and played a lot of cricket, and I’ve seen nothing like that…unbelievable scenes, he was done. He was down and out, he couldn’t move.”
“We talked about coming off and trying to get some work into my back and trying to loosen up my legs a little bit,” Maxwell said. “The physio said it would be really hard for you to come back out down the stairs after that. It probably made the job a little more simple.
“Then we came up with let’s stay at the same end for as long as you can, until you can at least walk at the other end if there is an easy single. But for a while there it was ‘if I can get one or two boundaries from the other end’ it didn’t really matter what happened the other end. Because we got it to a run a ball by that stage. There was certain planning, it wasn’t all just chaotic swinging.”
Maxwell added that it was when the requirement down to around 60 or 70 runs that he really started to believe the miracle would be possible alongside Pat Cummins, who would finish on 12 off 68 balls in two hours at the crease, and the key element in his mind was ensuring Rashid Khan did not have a major impact in his last few overs having already removed Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Starc.
“We knew Rashid had about 18 balls left that was going to happen in the last 13 overs or something like that,” he said. “As long as we kept him out of the game I felt like I could hit boundaries off the others. So was more about negating him, not letting him have a shot at the rest of the tail. If we could keep him out of the backend of the game we’d be alright.”
The innings added another extraordinary chapter to Maxwell’s World Cup which had already included the record-breaking 40-ball century against Netherlands and the incident of him falling off a golf cart which ruled him out of the England match with concussion.
“It’s been a busy couple of weeks,” he said wryly. “[It’s] since my family arrived. It’s been a weird couple of weeks. Extremely grateful to be able to get back out here and make the semis. Think after the first two games we were pretty close to written off by most people.
“To be able to string six wins together at the right time, and we didn’t have our best stuff tonight, against a pretty spirited opposition so to be in the semis is a great feeling and hopefully we enjoy a few days in Pune. I’ll stay away from the golf carts.”