Afghanistan produced a batting spectacle at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday to post a challenging 291 for 5 in 50 overs against Australia in Match 39 of the ICC World Cup 2023.
Ibrahim Zadran smashed his fifth ODI hundred and remained unbeaten on 129 to power the Afghans after they won the toss and opted to bat first. Rashid Khan (35*) and Rahmat Shah (30) also made important contributions to the team's final score.
Josh Hazlewood bagged a couple of wickets while Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa picked one each for the Aussies.
Aussies staring at record chase
The five-time champions will need to complete a record chase if they are to book their ticket to the semi-finals. This is Afghanistan's highest team total in ODI World Cup history.
Zadran's score is also the third highest for any batter against Australia in World Cups.
"I am feeling great to score Afghanistan's maiden hundred in (World Cup). I worked really hard for this tournament, I missed a hundred against Pakistan but made it today.
"I was talking to my coaching staff and I told them I have a feeling I will get a hundred in next three matches," Zadran said before going on to thank Sachin Tendulkar for motivating the Afghan players before this crucial match.
Zadran thanks Tendulkar
Tendulkar had visited the Afghanistan camp at the Wankhede on the eve of this match and had a lengthy chat with all the players.
"We have plan for every opposition and it was our aim to put this score. We will try to bowl and field well.
"I had a good chat with Sachin Tendulkar; he shared his experience and I said before the match that I will bat like him," said Zadran after becoming the first Afghan batter to score a World Cup hundred.