Glenn Maxwell revealed he was close to retiring during his epic innings against Afghanistan in Mumbai but pushed his body beyond its limit with World Cup semi-final qualification on the line.
The Australian all-rounder smashed a remarkable 201 not out as his team successfully chased 292 for victory on Tuesday, after the five-time champions had been reduced to 91-7.
It was only the third double hundred in World Cup history and the first in a run chase.
But it came at a price. Maxwell cramped up badly after reaching his century. He had to take many breaks to get some attention from the physio. He collapsed in agony at one stage, barely able to walk.
Maxwell admitted discussing with Australian physio Nick Jones whether he should retire after his body gave up and he sank to the ground while on 147 and with 55 runs still needed to win.
But with the knockouts within sight, Maxwell broke through the pain barrier, and continued swinging from crease with no feet, using just his hands. It was the most incredible range of strokes as Maxwell finished with a double ton that included 21 fours and 10 sixes.
"It was a strange one, because I was cramping in one of my toes, which was sort of going up the front of my shin. And then as I set off to try and get down the other end, I cramped in that calf as well," Maxwell.
"So I was cramping both sides of my lower leg. And as I went 'Oh no, I'm cramping,' I cramped in my left hamstring at the same time. So I was like, 'I've got both legs.' And then I had a back spasm when I hit the ground.
"So I was just like full body just in pain."
Jones suggested he should retire, but Maxwell decided against it after being told the chances of being able to return after treatment were not good.
"We talked about coming off, trying to get some work into my back and trying to loosen up my legs a little bit," said the 35-year-old, who missed Australia's previous match due to a concussion after falling off a golf cart.
"Jonesy, the physio, said it would be really hard for me to come back down the stairs after that.
"We just came up with 'let's stay at the same end' for as long as you can until you feel like you can walk to the other end or if there's an easy single here and there."
Maxwell went on to star in a 202-run eighth-wicket stand with captain Pat Cummins, who contributed just 12 in the partnership.