Australia has started its T20 campaign with a win. Australia may have started the match ranked slightly higher than Ireland but they went in as underdogs in the battle of the T20 cellar dwellers. With Watson guiding the way with bat and ball, Australia made light of a difficult proposition and swept the Irish aside, winning by seven wickets with 29 balls to spare.
From the time he took a wicket with the first ball of the match, Watson dominated proceedings. He took three wickets and made 51 runs from just 30 balls.
One over of note saw Watson’s strike rate plummet and in doing so, gave me something to think about. The third over of the Australian innings was a ten ball epic from Boyd Rankin, which included four wide deliveries. After ball one of that over, Watson was on 7 runs from 3 balls (SR 175). By the end of the over, Watson, who face all of the wides, had seen his strike rate halved (83.33) simply because his bat was not long enough!
It made me consider whether it is fair to count wides in a batsman’s balls faced tally. By definition, a wide is a ball that a batsman can’t reasonably score from so why should it be counted against him in his strike rate? Maybe this should be changed for T20, at least where there is an understandable preoccupation with strike rates.
Anyway, it didn’t affect Watson as he smashed 41 runs from his next 18 balls before being run out.
In the other match of the day, Afghanistan (136) scrapped it out well with India (159), losing by just 23 runs.