It feels like just a short while ago when Maxwell acknowledged his fifty, and in no time, he sprinted to a century in a mere 76 balls! Here's the play-by-play:
From 0 to 50, it took him 51 balls, and during this phase, he struck seven exquisite fours. Then, from 51 to 100, it only required 25 balls, as he showcased his brilliance with three fours and three towering sixes!
Maxwell's brilliant innings and unwavering self-belief have significantly revived Australia's chances. With 35 overs played, Australia now faces the task of scoring just about a run per ball, needing 92 runs from 90 deliveries, albeit with only three wickets remaining. The game has been brought to life by Maxwell's heroics, and the tension is palpable as the match heads towards a thrilling conclusion.
Before that Australia finds themselves in a precarious position at 69 for 4 after 14 overs, with the match tilted in Afghanistan's favor. In a strategic move, Afghanistan deploys their trump card, Rashid Khan, to further increase the pressure. Rashid delivers a seemingly routine legbreak, aiming for the off stump. Maxwell, showing his intent, nudges the ball towards midwicket and attempts a quick single. However, a momentary miscommunication unfolds. Labuschagne hesitates but has already ventured out of his crease. In the split second it takes for them to acknowledge the situation, Maxwell finds himself nearly halfway down the pitch.
Labuschagne, realizing the urgency, joins the sprint towards the opposite end, diving in a desperate bid to reach the crease. Simultaneously, Rahmat Shah, stationed at midwicket, launches his throw towards the stumps. Although not the swiftest of throws, it's flat and accurately finds its target. The bails illuminate as the ball collides with the stumps. Afghanistan erupts in celebration, firmly believing they've added another wicket to their tally. Replays confirm Labuschagne's misfortune – his bat hovers just above the crease, with a portion of it failing to make it inside. With this, the fifth wicket falls, further intensifying the challenge for Australia.