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Afghanistan maiden win vs Australia came just in time, Rashid Khan & co exorcises ghosts of Wankhede ’23

Afghanistan maiden win vs Australia came just in time, Rashid Khan & co exorcises ghosts of Wankhede ’23

The setting, opponents, and context were almost identical to that day, with a key difference: Afghans got the better of Maxwell in the nick of time.

When Glenn Maxwell started his onslaught at the Arnos Vale Stadium in Kingstown against Afghanistan in T20 World Cup Super 8 match, Rashid Khan’s mind must have wandered to that fateful night in Wankhede at the ODI World Cup. Glenn Maxwell had single-handedly won the game with his double century that day. However, the Afghans showed today they had learnt their lesson and have matured as a unit.

Deja Vu with one significant difference

The setting, opponents, and context were almost identical to that day. Batting first, Afghanistan had put up a competitive total as they did today. They had managed to get quick wickets that day too, but the wicket of Maxwell didn’t arrive that day, unlike today.

Maxwell fails to finish off game this time

Maxwell got off to a quick start on Sunday, looking every bit the player he is known to be. He struck Rashid Khan for a six over mid-wicket, and played a beautiful inside-out shot for a four. It looked like Maxwell would once again take the game away from Afghanistan, but Gulbadin Naib arrived in just the nick of time.

Naib, who picked up four wickets in the match, probably got the most important wicket of his life when he got the better of Maxwell. Maxwell heaved at a delivery outside off-stump and Noor Ahmad took a sharp catch at Backward Gully.

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Ghost of Wankhede put to bed

The Afghanistan players must have spent sleepless nights thinking about that match against Australia in the ODI World Cup 2023. They were on the verge of knocking Australia out when they reduced them to 87 for 6. However, the Aussies rose from ashes thanks to Maxwell’s double ton, and went on to win the World Cup.

However, they put up a much sought-after display on Sunday, and got the better of Maxwell just in the nick of time to seal the victory. Now, they can sleep peacefully knowing that the haunting defeat of the ODI World Cup is beyond them.

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