Glenn Maxwell scored match-winning fifty against Afghanistan© AFP
Up against Afghanistan in their final Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup 2022, Australia could only secure a 4-run win, hence denting their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals. Though all hope is not lost for the Aussies yet, a victory for Sri Lanka against England in the final Group 1 game on Saturday is required to see them go through. Glenn Maxwell, who was named the Player of the Match against Afghanistan, is hoping for the islanders to pull a bunny out of their hat against England.
Maxwell finally looked in prime form as he guided Australia to a total of 168/8 against Afghanistan on Friday. The Mohammad Nabi-led side put in a terrific fight but could only score 164/7 in reply. Afghanistan’s defeat kept Australia in the semi-final reckoning, but only marginally.
At the post-match presentation ceremony, Maxwell said: “Afghanistan played really well, they struck the ball really cleanly. At the start, they put us under pressure in the powerplay. We were able to hold them back but then there was some pretty clean hitting towards the back end and gave us a bit of a scare.”
“It was nice to have an impact in the field. I knew I wasn’t going to have much of an impact with the ball with the conditions they were. To have an impact is nice. During the day, it was quite slow and taking spin, it was holding up a little bit. It was quite hard to press the issue. We got to about the 12th over mark where we just had to put a total on the board to make sure we gave ourselves a chance of winning the game. Even though we were trying to go hard, they bowled extremely well in the last four overs.
“They executed their plans and it was hard to get away. We put ourselves in this situation, but hopefully, Sri Lanka can do the job for us,” he added after the match.
The only way for Australia to join New Zealand in the semi-final round from Group 1 is to see Sri Lanka beat England. If England win, they will go through to the next round, courtesy of a superior Net Run Rate.
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