NEW DELHI: David Warner and Glenn Maxwell share a special relationship with the Arun Jaitley Stadium here. Even before making their first mark as Australia cricketers, the IPL franchise based out of Delhi had identified as future superstars and invested heavily in them.
On Tuesday evening, it was kind of happy homecoming for them as Warner and Maxwell posted dominating centuries to help Australia score 399/8 in order to complete a 309-run annihilation of Netherlands.
AUS vs NED: AS IT HAPPENED
If Warner set the tone with a breezy 93-ball 104, Maxwell owned the fastest century in World Cup cricket when he hammered a full toss from Bas de Leede deep into the square-leg stands off the 40th ball that he faced in his innings. In doing so, South Africa’s Aiden Markram’s record, which also came at the same venue, lasted under 20 days.
It took 21 overs for the Australian bowlers to wrap up the game. After the pacers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins picked up a wicket each with the new ball, Adam Zampa ran through the tail to finish with 4/8.
AUS vs NED, ICC World Cup 2023: Glenn Maxwell smashed fastest hundred in ODI World Cup
The ruthless brand of Australian cricket is back in vogue! The Australian team is buzzing and they are back to being serious contenders for the trophy after a slow start to the campaign.
Of all the venues across India, Warner and Maxwell would have least expected that runs would flow here at Arun Jaitley Stadium. During their stay at Delhi Capitals (formerly Delhi Daredevils), runs came at a premium thanks to a square which has been historically excruciatingly low and slow.
Warner’s innings doesn’t come as a surprise given his stellar ODI record and a formidable run of form leading to this game against an associate nation like the Netherlands. But, Maxwell’s onslaught is a marker to his evolution as an integral part of Australia’s lineup. It was like the firecrackers went off in the season of festivities in this part of the country.
Maxwell has always been the quintessential hitman in contemporary white-ball cricket. Yet, Tuesday’s knock of 106 off 44 balls will be a huge relief for the Australian camp which has been yearning to find some firepower in the back end of the innings during the World Cup.
Steve Smith scoring a fluent 71 off 68 and Marnus Labuschange’s knock of 62 off 47 all seemed par for the course. But, Maxwell’s knock was pure emotion. And his war cry after reaching that record-breaking hundred was evidence enough.
Like they have done so far in the tournament so far, Australia seemed to lose the plot after a strong start. Their finishing powers lacked muscle. They had slipped from 244/2 in the 37th over to 290/6 in the 43rd over.
Not that they didn’t have enough runs already to tame Netherlands with their top-class bowling attack. But the beast in Maxwell had to be awakened. And he ensured that Australia didn’t go back to the team hotel knowing they threw away another strong start.
In a matter of 43 balls, he knocked the wind out of the Netherlands bowlers to bring up a 103-run partnership with captain Pat Cummins.
Maxwell hammered 91 of those runs in that partnership! In hitting eight 6s and 9 boundaries, Maxwell announced to the rest of the teams that Australia’s brutal hitting powers are not on the wane.