Tag Ashes 2010-11
Highest individual scores in ODI is a tough list for modern batters to enter as they're fast losing patience since the arrival of twenty20 cricket but another list = highest score while chasing a target, is even tougher to break into because batter has to be supremely fit having fielded for 4 hours earlier and not to mention the pressure of stiff target overhead..
Shane Watson, the bulky Aussie opener who has had an injury truncated career uptill now, showed today that he's one of the fittest cricketers around the world these days as he bowled 8 overs, travelled 15 kilometers during England's innings (as calculated by Gatorade heart monitor) and then scored 161, unbeaten, facing 150 balls and scripting the biggest chase at the oldest cricketing venue in the world = Melbourne where we were playing 132nd one day international on the anniversary of first ever ODI here 40 years ago. Here's how the story unfolded :-
Scorecard : Eng v Aus, 16 January 2011.
Brad Haddin, unhappy that he wasn't included in twin twenty20s last week, turned out to be the main culprit for home team, missing 3 stumping chances as England elected to bat first and rocketed on an opening partnership of 90 between captain Andrew Strauss and wicket keeper Steven Davies off just 12 overs. Michael Clarke made a smart move to hold his medium pacers and install part time but smart spinner David Hussey into the attack and it paid dividend soon as he broke the dangerous looking partnership and then claimed wicket of number 3 Jonathan Trott. Brett Lee returned for second spell and got prized wicket of Andrew Strauss right when southpaw was starting to settle down for a long innings.
3 wkts down when 131 on board at 20th over mark, visitors needed a partnership to build on their strong begining and Kevin Pietersen looked awake to the task. With Ian Bell, Pietersen added 43 good runs, playing left arm spinner Xavier Doherty with authority but leg spinner Steven Smith sprung a surprize as he took wickets of Bell and Eoin Morgan in his three overs, costing just 12 runs.
Pietersen wasn't prepared to give up yet as he then dominated 50 run 6th wicket partnership with Michael Yardy who only contributed 9 off 21 balls but chances of a total in excess of run a ball were fast vanishing. Pietersen, after completing his first ODI half century since November 2008, was runout through a "bend it like Mitchell" kick in his follow through and England ended up bowled out without playing their full quota of fifty overs. No.10 and jack = Ajmal Shahzad and Chris Tremlett, hit a six each to push them to solid 294, but unsatisfactory for sure specially after the rocket start.
Aussie captain, at toss, had promised his team will play like a champion side and although it didn't show during their bowling effort, it was evident they're currently world's best one day team as they planned their chase very well. Shane Watson and Brad Haddin made an opening partnership of 110 and then Clarke himself built on it with another 103 run stand with Watson for the second wicket.
82 runs required off 67 balls with 7 wickets in hand when Clarke got out, both teams were in the game but England needed to dismiss anchor of the innings = Shane Watson. they couldn't. Watson left the acceleration upto Michael Hussey who collected 21 runs off just 15 balls with a six and a four and then Cameron White took over, pulling unconvinsingly but effectively. Watson hit a six to finish the game and reach the 4th highest score by a batsman while chasing a target in one day international.
Highest chase at Melbournewas 291 by Australia against New Zealand in February 2007 before today, since the first ever one day international here back on 5 January 1971.