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Cricket World Cup 2023: Glenn Maxwell belts record WC ton as Australia make mincemeat of Netherlands
Photo courtesy: UNI

Cricket World Cup 2023: Glenn Maxwell belts record WC ton as Australia make mincemeat of Netherlands

| @indiablooms | 26 Oct 2023, 12:04 pm

New Delhi/UNI: Glenn Maxwell sent the Netherlands for leather hunting by hammering the fastest ton in the Men's Cricket World Cup history, capitalising on David Warner's hundred to help Australia to a massive victory at Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Wednesday.

This win also went into the record books with Australia registering the largest ever victory by 309 runs at a Men’s Cricket World Cup and the second largest ever in ODIs.

Warner and Steve Smith made a strong start after Australia lost Mitchell Marsh cheaply. The duo posted 66/1 after the first Powerplay after opting to bat.

And the Australian top order took advantage of it to set up a massive total, with Warner (104) stitching a handy stand with Smith (71) and Marnus Labuschagne (62).

The platform was set, but nobody could have predicted the extent of the damage that was to come, with Maxwell demolishing the Netherlands attack with a brutal display of hitting, registering by far the fastest-ever hundred seen at a Cricket World Cup.

Maxwell’s hundred came from just 40 balls, nine faster than the previous best at a Cricket World Cup, and included eight maximums.

Bas de Leede fared the worst of the Dutch bowlers, conceding 115 runs from his ten overs, the most expensive figures in ODI history.

Netherlands set out to restore some pride in the second innings, but unravelled against a buoyant Australian bowling attack, who rattled through the batting line-up in just 21 overs.

Adam Zampa returned the best figures after the pace-bowling unit had rattled through the top order, with the spinner finishing with figures of 4/8 from three overs. Zampa's haul saw him become the top wicket-taker at the tournament so far.

The record margin of defeat gives Australia an enormous net run rate boost as they strengthen their grip on a top-four spot in the standings.

Australia opted to bat first after captain Pat Cummins won the toss.

The management opted not to slot in opener Travis Head, who arrived in India earlier in the week, straight into the XI. Australia were also missing all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who had sustained a calf problem. Cameron Green took his place in the side.

Netherlands opted to stick with the same XI that succumbed to Sri Lanka on Saturday.

The Dutch started with spin right from the start after being asked to bowl first, with Aryan Dutt, the off-spinner, opening the bowling. Marsh decided to take an aggressive approach against him, smashing a fine drive through square for four, before a thick edge also found the fence, albeit a tad fortunately.

It was Warner's turn to go after Dutt in his next over, and the southpaw picked four straight fours, cutting, slapping, and bullying Dutt to give Australia the perfect start.

Netherlands found some joy at the other end when Marsh miscued a pull high, and holed out to Colin Ackermann for just 9. But the loss of the opener didn't dampen Australia, though, as Smith took little time to settle – picking Logan van Beek and Paul van Meekeren for fours within his first three overs.

Three back-to-back fours from Smith in the 10th over ensured he quickly overtook Warner's tally, giving Australia a solid platform to build a big total.

Warner, who was sedate until then, soon moved up the gears, smashing Colin Ackermann and Vikramjit Singh for sixes in successive overs. He completed a fifty in the same over with a boundary.

Warner's innings wasn't chanceless, though, with the opener let off in the 17th over when Max O'Dowd missed a golden chance to run the batter out. He later survived a close call for a catch with Roelof van der Merwe grounding what appeared to be a sensational catch.

While Warner went on to plunder more boundaries, van der Merwe had a redemption of his own, when he pulled off a brilliant reverse cupped take to send back Steve Smith.

Marnus Labuschagne copped an early blow onto the helmet off Logan van Beek, but soon found his groove, and raced to a run-a-ball fifty an over after he slammed van der Merwe for two fours and a six.

Netherlands found the breakthrough before the partnership could blossom further, with Bas de Leede using the scrambled seam and a tempting field to lure Labuschagne into a false stroke.

And Josh Inglis lasted just 12 balls as Australia’s innings faltered slightly.

Warner secured his second century in as many matches with a pull to the boundary, celebrating in trademark style.

The veteran fell just three balls later, angling a catch to fine leg to depart for a 93-ball 104, leaving the onus on Glenn Maxwell and the Aussie bowlers to make the most of the big platform they’d be given.

And Maxwell took full advantage of that platform and then some.

Chasing 400 to win against a bowling attack of the quality of Australia’s was always likely to be out of the Netherlands’ reach. But the first 11 overs saw any Dutch hopes of a morale-boosting effort with the bat blown away.

Max O’Dowd was the first to depart, cleaned up by Mitchell Starc for 6.

And Maxwell was back in the action with an inspired run-out to remove the likely Vikram Singh for a run-a-ball 25.

Content to sit in and get some time out in the middle, the Dutch run rate slowed.

But even the more conservative approach wasn’t enough to survive Australia’s pace barrage, as Josh Hazlewood had Colin Ackermann trapped leg before wicket for 10, and Pat Cummins removed Bas de Leede in the same manner for 4.

Mitchell Marsh got in on the act to remove both Sybrand Engelbrecht (11) and Teja Nidamanuru (14) and open up the tail.

And Zampa made short work of the lower order, twice taking two wickets in two balls to finish with brilliant figures and bowl the Dutch out for just 90.

Captain Scott Edwards was left stranded at the close on 12*, and will look to pick his players back up after the most bruising of encounters.

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