Glenn Maxwell, Australia's 'Big Show', has delivered the ultimate show of his pyrotechnic career, leaving the cricket world saluting what his captain Pat Cummins believes is the greatest innings ever played in a one-day international.
The amazing Maxwell, barely able to walk as he hobbled along with a back issue and terrible cramping in Mumbai, somehow still blitzed an unbetean 201 - on effectively one leg - to drag Australia from 7-91, past Afghanistan's total of 5-291 by three wickets, and into the World Cup semis.
"I think that's the greatest ODI innings," said Cummins, who had the best view in the Wankhede Stadium of the carnage as he contributed a crucial, unbeaten 12 at the other end in their unbroken, match-winning stand of 202 for the eighth wicket on Tuesday.
"It's the best I've ever seen, probably the greatest ODI innings ever. We're just chatting about it, all the players, and we've decided it's one of those days where you just go 'I was there in the stadium the day Glenn Maxwell chased down that total by himself'.
"It's just a one-man show. I'm up the other end and don't see any gaps in the field, don't see where I'm going to score a boundary - and yet it seems like every time he sees that, it still just runs away for four. It looks so easy.
"He still can't move, and yet still manages to hit a six over the third man with a reverse – he's a freak."
Maxwell finished the job with the winning six - his 10th of the innings to go with 21 fours - and like so many of the big hits, had to pull it off magically with minimal foot movement because his cramping was so debilitating.
"Maxi was out of this world. I couldn't even get on strike! You just let him do his thing when he's doing that - how am I going to say anything to someone who's like that?" laughed Cummins.
"Even from 200 behind, he was still mapping a way we could win the game. I was just trying to survive!"
201 - @CricketAus' @Gmaxi_32 struck an unbeaten 201 from 128 deliveries to become the third batter to score a double century in men's ODI @cricketworldcup history after M. Guptill (237* vs West Indies in 2015) and C. Gayle (215 vs Zimbabwe in 2015). Fabled. #AUSvAFG #CWC23 pic.twitter.com/dwtkpFrUub
— OptaJason (@OptaJason) November 7, 2023
Still, it was only with about 20 minutes left that Cummins felt Australia could really pull off the miracle, even believing that the 35-year-old might have to be "stretched off" with his cramping woes.
"His back was cramping pretty early on, then just hamstrings, calves. For one over he said his toe was gone," reported Cummins.
"I kind of signalled to Zamps (next batter Adam Zampa) to get down here because he literally couldn't move and then the physio kind of convinced Maxi that if he came off, it might be worse off."
Maxwell - as long as he avoids the sort of golf buggy accident that waylaid him for the previous game - should be fine for the rest of a tournament where he's already hit the fastest World Cup hundred ever off 40 balls and now has Australia's highest-ever ODI score.
"I'm sure it will be fine for the next game - plenty of hydration, he'll be in the ice bath I'm sure, but it will be okay," smiled Cummins.