WC 2003 - "I missed the last WC so I was looking forward to this"
Published: Monday, March 3, 2003, 4:10 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Bevan, Bichel set up record win, snuff out Eng WC dream
Port Elizabeth: Australia's Andy Bichel engineered an astonishing performance with bat and ball on Sunday to hand his country a record-breaking triumph and pile on the World Cup misery for old enemies England.First, Bichel claimed the second best ever bowling figures in a World Cup match when he finished with 7 for 20 to restrict England to 204 for 8 and then teamed up with Michael Bevan in a 73-run partnership to see his side to a nail-biting two-wicket win."I missed the last World Cup so I was looking forward to this one and worked hard to get here," said Bichel. "You dream of a day when you can get seven wickets in a One-day game. There was nip in the pitch for me and the wickets were my reward," added the 32-year-old, who was only playing because of an injury to first choice Jason Gillespie."When I go into bat, my target is always to show how it has improved and with a cool head like Michael's, it was a job well done," Bichel said."He told me where the ball was coming and his experience paid off."Bichel, who finished unbeaten on 34, had smashed James Anderson for a huge six into the scoreboard in the penultimate over as well as a boundary which eased the pressure of the run chase.Bevan with a classy 74 finished the job with two balls to spare to guarantee that Australia goes into the Super Sixes with maximum points."Some might say I leave it too late with these things, but today was really tough because we lost two or three quick wickets," said Bevan."It was nervous for everyone but I just tried to work my shots and keep to a game plan."But all credit to Andy. It's tough to bowl when the opposition is scoring at seven an over and then bat when you need six an over to win a World Cup match. "It was an awesome display and when he hit that six off the scoreboard, that was the defining moment."England now faces an anxious wait to discover its World Cup fate when Zimbabwe meets Pakistan in Bulawayo on Tuesday.If Zimbabwe wins, then it will go through courtesy of England having boycotted its scheduled fixture in Harare; if Pakistan wins, then the qualifying spot will be decided on run rate between the three."It was an exceptional batting performance by Bevan. He timed it so well and we just couldn't pull it off," said England captain Nasser Hussain, who had been one of Bichel's seven St George's Park victims."I don't like relying on other teams but we now have to wait to see our position. We wanted the four points from this game but they didn't come."