By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | November 08, 2023 In the annals of cricket history, there are moments that transcend the boundaries of the game and etch themselves […]
By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | November 08, 2023
In the annals of cricket history, there are moments that transcend the boundaries of the game and etch themselves into the collective memory of fans worldwide. Glenn Maxwell’s extraordinary performance against Afghanistan in the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday, November 07, 2023, is one such moment. With a display of unparalleled skill, determination, and sheer audacity, Maxwell turned the match into a spectacle for the ages. This remarkable innings has earned him the moniker of a “720 Degrees Man” with a perfect 10/10 rating.
In short, this was a 72010 performance! Twice A B de Villiers!!
Glenn Maxwell’s 72010 Performance
I have been off cricket for over two decades, sporadically watching matches. The match-fixing scandal in 2000 got me off cricket completely. My friend, Sheetal Paknikar, called me yesterday, a little after 7:20 pm. “Martin,” he said, “Afghanistan is ripping Australia, you must watch this match.” I thanked him for this information, asked him the basic questions, who batted first, etc, and then switched on the television.
Australia was 96/7 and Glen Maxwell was at the crease. I had missed his dropped catch and he contesting his LBW decision. In my mind, I was thinking, “Mad Max (33) is still there.” Cricketing logic stated that this mountain was too high to climb, even for the Aussies. But then, the extraordinary happened, something one rarely sees in one-day cricket today (I hope I am right).
The Stage is Set: Maxwell’s Herculean Effort
As the floodlights cast long shadows across the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the stage was set for a Maxwell Special after two ‘lives’. While Maxwell kept sending the ball to the ropes at regular intervals to keep the run rate in check, Pat Cummins kept the other end shut. No runs, no wickets!
With a swagger in his step (before the cramps set in), and glazed eyes, he took on the Afghan bowlers with a ferocity that left even the most seasoned pundits in awe. Boundaries flowed from his bat, and the scoreboard ticked over at a rate that seemed almost surreal.
It was not just the audacity of his strokeplay that caught the eye, but the precision with which he executed each shot. Be it a thunderous pull over mid-wicket or a delicate flick off his pads, Maxwell’s repertoire seemed boundless. The Afghan bowlers, who up till then had been on top of the Aussie batting, found themselves on the ropes, literally, struggling to contain the whirlwind that was Maxwell. After the cramps set in, Maxwell still found the boundaries, almost with disdain, on one foot, with just the power of his forearms, and determination to fight the pain
The One-Legged Stand
With a grimace etched across his face, Maxwell defied the pain coursing through his body. Unable to run, he decided to stand his ground on one leg, determined to see his team through to victory. It was a sight to behold for someone who has long stopped watching cricket. Memories of Michael Bevan, who always dug out the Aussies from impossible positions came to mind. Memories of Sachin Tendulkar belting Shane Warne in Sharjah came to mind. Memories of Javed Miandad hoisting a helpless Chetan Sharma for a last-ball six in Sharjah came to mind. Tunbridge Wells and Kapil Dev in 1983, I did not see. Yes, this was a Tunbridge Wells tonk!
With every delivery, Maxwell’s one-legged stance seemed to defy the laws of physics. The ball met the middle of his bat with a sweet sound. He played the reverse sweep for a six, again on one leg. The boundaries continued to flow, and Afghanistan’s hopes of a comeback began to fade. The Aussie dugout watched in awe, as “Mad Max’ displayed a level of determination that bordered on the superhuman.
On 195 in the 47th over, and needing 5 runs for victory, Maxwell slams a huge six over mid-wicket on one leg to cross 200 and take Australia to the semi-finals.
While Glen Maxwell’s breathtaking performance rightfully stole the spotlight, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the crucial role played by his non-striking partner, Pat Cummins, in their monumental 211-run partnership. Cummins may have scored just 11 runs, but his contribution went far beyond the numbers on the scoreboard.
Pat comes the Reply from Cummins
Australian skipper Pat Cummins displayed an exceptional understanding of his role in the partnership. He recognized Maxwell’s scorching form and opted to play the supporting role, anchoring one end while providing invaluable encouragement to his swashbuckling teammate. His calm and composed demeanor provided a stabilizing influence in the face of Maxwell’s explosive onslaught.
Cummins’ ability to rotate the strike efficiently cannot be underestimated. While he may not have been hitting boundaries at the same rate as Maxwell, he ensured that the scoreboard kept ticking over, allowing Maxwell to maintain his momentum without undue pressure. His resilience in the face of an onslaught from the Afghan bowlers cannot be overlooked. Facing a relentless barrage of deliveries, he displayed remarkable focus and determination to weather the storm and provide Maxwell with the support he needed to continue his onslaught. He did not try to be a hero, trying to hit boundaries. This brought to light Cummins’ character and professionalism.
Cummins’ contribution may not have been measured in runs, but his role in the historic partnership with Glen Maxwell was indispensable. His selflessness, resilience, and team-oriented mindset were instrumental in the team’s success, and his performance deserves recognition alongside Maxwell’s breathtaking display. Together, they forged a partnership that will be remembered as one of the great moments in cricketing history.
This was a match for the ages, and Glen Maxwell’s 72010 performance will be celebrated for generations to come. Just like Kapil Dev’s Hurricane 175 against Zimbabwe.
[Moody Marty: Sometimes funny, sometimes informative, always downright forthright!]
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