Granted that it was a meaningless match and in a less than inspiring series but Watson’s innings was the stuff of statisticians dreams and therefore, it must be acknowledged. Yesterday, in Australia’s successful chase of Bangladesh’s rather modest 229, Shane Watson somehow managed to score 185 not out.
It is draw dropping. Haddin made 8, Ponting 37 and there were 2 extras. Watson made the rest. Watson’s strike rate was 192.7. He faced 96 balls and hit 30 boundaries – that is a boundary almost every third delivery faced. Watson’s own run rate was a staggering 7.12 runs per over – that is, the Australian innings was 26 overs and he personally scored at 7.12 runs per over for the duration of that short innings.
If the innings had gone the distance, and so had Watson, his projected score is just over 350. However, Watson scored his century from 69 balls and then scored 85 runs from the next 27 deliveries he received. So, perhaps the above projection of 350 is both simplistic and modest. Perhaps 500 would have been closer to the mark. It brings back memories of The 12th Man.
The list of records and achievements is extensive.
- The highest ODI innings by an Australian
- The 8th highest ODI innings ever
- The 3rd fastest ODI century by an Australian
- Most sixes in any ODI innings
- Most runs scored in boundaries (150) in any ODI innings
- Highest percentage of ODI team total (79.74%) – not an official record – apparently it only counts when the innings is completed. But I think it counts.
- The innings inspired the highest ever number of text message and Tweets from Shane Warne (Watson’s IPL captain)
While these stats do get the juices pumping, when it is all said and done, I think it is good that Watto did not make 300 or even 200. It took almost 40 years for that landmark to be achieved and it wouldn’t have seemed right for it to fall again so lightly, to such feeble opposition.
And it is a good start to Clarke’s tenure (made even better by eventually dropping that paperweight, Cameron White) but who knows what it really means. I expected Bangladesh to be harder at home. They beat the mighty England in the recent World Cup. They hammered World Cup semi finalists, New Zealand, 4-0 at home just last October. Has Australia really improved that much? Perhaps we will have an answer in about September.