Sydney - Australia's Glenn Maxwell was both mocked and praised Monday after video emerged of him making a 'choking' gesture just moments before Kane Williamson launched the giant six that won Saturday's Cricket World Cup clash for New Zealand.
Maxwell, a controversial batsman dubbed 'The Big Show' by Australian media, was fielding in the deep when he turned to a section of the 40 000 crowd at Auckland's Eden Park and jokingly placed his hands around his throat to suggest that the home side were about to fail chasing their modest 152-run target.
But the Kiwis, who had lost five wickets for 15 at one stage, had the last laugh and claimed a place in the quarter-finals when, with the last pair at the wicket, Williamson sent his match-winning six high into the stands.
The video clip was uploaded to Facebook by New Zealand fan Sam Holt and by Monday afternoon had attracted more than 173 000 views, liked by 65 000 people and shared 3 000 times.
"This was Maxwell just before Kane Williamson tonked that 6 to win it... How's that for crowd / player banter?," wrote Holt.
Maxwell scored just one in the game having made 66 in Australia's opening win over England, but he won some sympathy online with fans praising him for his interaction with the crowd.
"I sat right behind maxwell and he was awesome. So interactive with the crowd and with a real good sense of humour! Def a good sportsman," wrote one spectator.
"To be fair we were trying pretty hard to choke lol," added another fan.