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Nov 10

Australia vs West Indies ODI, 1996

The first match of the Ashes is in swing, so I was idly browsing through some cricket stats. Everyone knows that Don Bradman’s 99.94 test batting average was multiple standard deviations away from the next highest (less than 61). But lesser known is that Michael Bevan’s ODI average stands apart from the rest of the crowd as well – not as far away as Bradman, but there’s still an obvious gap:

Bevan was a terrific ODI batsman – he was normally a mid-order batsman, and helped to prevent the tail from folding too quickly after the top-order batsman were long gone. He had a really good strike rate as well. This reminded me of an absolute classic, nailbiter of a match I watched when I was young – back in 1996. Australia was playing the Windies at the SCG. The Windies made 173 in an innings shortened by rain. When Australia went into bat, they were immediately in trouble, collapsing to 6 for 38. On came Bevan, and two and a half hours later, Australia was 9 wickets down, 1 ball to play, with a 4 needed to win the match, and Bevan on strike.

I managed to find an old highlight clip of the match online, and this is what happened:

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