Bas de Leede, meanwhile, recorded the most expensive bowling figures in ODI cricket

40 Balls for Glenn Maxwell to complete his century, the fastest in the history of the men’s ODI World Cup. He broke the record set just three weeks ago, by Aiden Markram with his 49-ball ton against Sri Lanka, also in Delhi.

39.1 overs – Maxwell’s entry point after Australia lost their fourth wicket. It is the latest entry point for a batter who has gone on to score a century in ODIs (where fall-of-wickets data is available). The previous latest entry point was de Villiers’, who came in at 38.4 overs against West Indies in the 2015 Johannesburg ODI, where he made 149.

1 Maxwell’s 40-ball hundred is the fastest for Australia in the ODI format. The previous fastest was off 45 balls by Meg Lanning against New Zealand Women in 2012, while the previous quickest in men’s ODIs was by Maxwell himself, who made a 51-ball hundred against Sri Lanka in the 2015 World Cup.

3 Only three ODI hundreds have come in fewer balls than Maxwell’s 40-ball effort against Netherlands. AB de Villiers hit a 31-ball century against West Indies in 2015, which is the fastest by anyone in the format, followed by Corey Anderson (36 balls against WI) and Shahid Afridi (37 balls against Sri Lanka)

6 Hundreds for David Warner in World Cups, the most for Australia, surpassing Ricky Ponting’s five. Warner is now tied in second place for most World Cup hundreds with Sachin Tendulkar and is only behind Rohit Sharma, who has seven.

399 for 8 Australia’s total against Netherlands is their second-highest at the World Cup, behind the 417 for 6 against Afghanistan in 2015. It is also the highest total by Australia in ODIs in India, bettering the 367 for 9 they posted against Pakistan in their previous match.

115 Runs conceded by Bas de Leede in his ten overs today, the most by any bowler in a men’s ODI. The previous record was 113 runs, held by two Australians – Mick Lewis against South Africa in 2006 and Adam Zampa against South Africa again in 2023.

106 Runs scored by Maxwell in the last ten overs are the fifth-most by any batter in a men’s ODI (where ball-by-ball data is available). These are also the most runs scored by an Australian between the 41st and 50th over in an innings, surpassing Cameron White’s 81 runs against India in 2010.

309 Margin of Australia’s win in Delhi, the biggest by runs for any team in the World Cup. It is also the second-biggest win margin by runs in men’s ODIs, behind India’s 317-run win against Sri Lanka at the start of this year.

3 Consecutive four-wicket hauls for Adam Zampa, the second Australian to pull this off in men’s ODIs, after Shane Warne in 1996-97. Zampa is also only the third bowler with three consecutive four-plus wicket hauls at the World Cup, after Shahid Afridi and Mohammed Shami.

6 Hundreds at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla across four matches in this World Cup. These are the joint-most hundreds at a venue in a men’s ODI World Cup, equaling the six hundreds at Manchester’s Old Trafford in 2019.

Betting on batting on the edge – Maxwell defies the laws of physics in Delhi

He is one of only a handful of batters who would conceive of and play the sorts of innings he did against Netherlands

Twenty-nine balls into his innings, Glenn Maxwell is waiting. His legs apart, facing the bowler front-on, wrists cocked, right one crossed over the left. In his own way, he is ready.

He is in the middle of the most manic of this World Cup’s innings, in which he would go on to demolish the record for fastest World Cup hundred, set only 17 days ago. Two balls before this, he has reverse swept a full ball on leg stump from seamer Bas de Leede way into the stands behind backward point.

This time, though, the bowler has banged a slower one into the pitch, and the ball is getting up towards head height. It may be the only few split seconds his hands are not in fast motion at the crease, but he picks the pace, judges the length, and though he’s not quite got the ball he needs for the shot he is attempting, he commits.

When you bat as audaciously as Maxwell, half the game is committing.

Committing to pre-determined shots even when the ball is less than ideal, yes, but also committing to practicing strokes only a few have ever successfully played before, and committing to a style of play that frequently appears unwise when balls go off the top edge and into fielders’ hands, and early career nicknames like “the big show” gain a sarcastic edge on the lips of your doubters.

Because Maxwell commits, throwing himself into the air as he plays the shot, every muscle and sinew in his limbs transferring power into his bat, he connects well enough to shovel the ball over the wide-third boundary.

The result in the stands is elation – Indian crowds having followed Maxwell through several big IPLs, and who are by now baying for sixes. The result for the bowler is discombobulation. Earlier this over, de Leede had stacked his leg side and bowled a fullish ball on a leg-side line that flew over backward point. Now he has given Maxwell little pace to work with, and delivered a bouncer at his body. Still it disappears in a direction Maxwell has no earthly right accessing.

“The uniqueness of Maxwell is that Bas is trying to bowl to the leg side, and he can reverse you over the off side,” Logan van Beek, who conceded two sixes to Maxwell in the next over, said after the match. “As a bowler, you’re thinking: ‘I want to get hit to the leg side, but he’s just hit my leg-side ball over cover for six; where do I go next?’ I think it’s the fact that he can assess the situation, assess the plan of the bowler, and find a way to counteract it. He won’t necessarily wait for the bowler to miss, but he will create a miss.”

Maxwell is one of only a handful of batters who would conceive of and play these shots, or conceive of and play this sort of innings.

But it is a batting life against the odds. In 123 ODI innings, Maxwell has crossed fifty 26 times. In the lead-up to this innings, his scores had been 0, 31 not out off 21, 3, 15, 5, and 8. It is true for most batters, that failure comes more often than success, but for players who bat as adventurously as Maxwell, the air is even thinner.

But these are the days Maxwell lives for, the days that make all the committing worth it. Days when he plays shots that defy almost all his sport’s conventions, whose physics are a wonder to behold, whose angles may never have been seen on a field before, and which collectively melt the brain.

When de Leede came back to bowl his next over, he was increasingly a bewildered bowler. He went to yorkers, which in the modern game few deliver with consistent success. He was struck for two fours down the ground when he bowled too short. He then overcorrected, bowled waist-high full tosses. Maxwell launched these practically into orbit over the leg side, getting to 100 off 40 balls with the third of these.

Maxwell had turned the bowler into a lobber of lavishly hittable balls because he had earlier played strokes that almost anyone who has ever padded up would consider mad, rash, low-percentage. Having faced his first ball in the 41st over, he smoked 106 off 44 to the delight of Delhi, because he has bet his career on batting on the edge.

Warner, Maxwell one-two knocks Netherlands out cold

It was a massive win, with Maxwell scoring the fastest century in World Cups, and Bas de Leede delivering the most expensive over in men’s ODI history

Australia 399 for 8 (Maxwell 106, Warner 104, Smith 71, Labuschagne 62, van Beek 4-74, de Leede 2-115) beat Netherlands 90 (Vikramjit 25, Zampa 4-8, Marsh 2-19) by 309 runs

It was the most brutal of one-twos. First came David Warner with the jab, then Glenn Maxwell with the “lights out” uppercut. A 104 from the opener had the Netherlands weary, but it was Maxwell’s astonishing 106 from just 44 deliveries that administered the most devastating of knock-out blows. Australia posted 399 for 8, standing triumphantly at the halfway stage over floored opponents, who were unable to rise off the canvas, eventually succumbing to a chastening 309-run defeat – the largest in margin in men’s ODI World Cup history.

Just 18 days after Aiden Markram had seized the record for the fastest century in ODI World Cups, against Sri Lanka at this very ground, Maxwell ripped it off him in nine fewer balls, needing just 40 to pass three figures. It was the culmination of an almighty assault on the Dutch bowlers, most notably Bas de Leede. The talented allrounder now has the ignominy of the most expensive figures in men’s ODIs, returning 2 for 115 – 43 of them coming in his last two (including 28 from the last), all courtesy Maxwell.

Beyond saving the blushes of compatriots Mick Lewis and Adam Zampa – previous joint-holders of the most expensive figures in the format – Maxwell’s second World Cup century (and third overall) shifted the complexion of the match against a courageous Netherlands outfit. They had broadly kept Australia in check, even while Warner, coming off the back of 163 against Pakistan in the previous match, marched to a 22nd ODI hundred.

Warner’s main allies were Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, the more dominant partners in stands of 132 and 84 for the second and third wicket, respectively. Had Max O’Dowd not botched a pick-up at midwicket, Warner might have been run-out on 32 when both he and Smith found themselves at the non-striker’s end. Roelof van der Merwe was then adjudged to have grounded a sharp chance at midwicket when Warner had 73, before completing an equally tough grab at backward point to see off Smith for 71.

Labuschagne’s dismissal – de Leede’s first, caught mid-off – was the first of three to fall for just 23 runs, culminating in Warner’s dismissal, paddling Logan van Beek to fine leg, well-taken by Aryan Dutt, two balls after registering a sixth World Cup century off 91. With ten overs to go, Australia were 268 for 5.

Maxwell had come in at the end of the 39th over – the latest an ODI centurion has arrived at the crease – but only faced his first ball midway through the 41st. In retrospect, the back-to-back fours off de Leede to get him off the mark were a sign of things to come.

He was probably culpable for Cameron Green’s run-out, pushing for two only for the allrounder – drafted in for Marcus Stoinis, who had a sore calf – to be found short of his ground with a direct hit. After Teja Nidamanuru failed to get to a difficult chance running back from mid-off when Maxwell was on 24, the carnage began.

From 35 off 21 – already a brisk start – Maxwell got out his reverse sweep for the first time to get Paul van Meekeren away over point, before smashing the follow-up slower ball over square leg for the first of eight sixes. Another reverse over point – this time all the way – brought the fifty up in 27 deliveries, before going over third two balls later, both off de Leede.

A brace of conventional sixes followed in the 48TH over, bowled by van Beek, carted over wide mid-on and then sliced over cover point, sandwiching a pull to midwicket by Pat Cummins, possessor of the best seat in the house. Then came de Leede’s chastening final set; bunted down the ground for fours to start, before being launched into the stands at wide mid-on, over square leg and then further behind square after bowling an above-waist full toss as Maxwell stormed through to three figures.

From first six to last, the white-ball phenom struck 66 runs from just 19 deliveries. Maxwell celebrated with a baby-rocking celebration, a nod to his wife and first child, Logan, who was born last month, both of whom arrived in India earlier this week.

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