Bichel's day out

Published: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 15:03 [IST]
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Bangalore, March 02: Eight years ago on the same day, Australia"s Andy Bichel had a day where he couldn"t have done anything wrong. Be it with bat or ball he was ready with his weapons.

Australia were to face England in their last group match of the world cup 2003, and it was an injury to Jason Gillespie that allowed Andy Bichel into the starting line-up at Port Elizabeth.

England won the toss and elected to bat and looked dangerous with Nick knight and Trescothick smashing McGrath and Lee for 66 in 9 overs. Ponting brought on Bichel and after four consecutive dot balls Knight edged one to gully, igniting one of the best bowling performances in history of one day cricket.

Within half an hour Bichel had figures of 4 for 10. Flintoff and Stewart played sensibly, if slowly, adding 90 in just under 25 overs, before Bichel returned and took three more ending with bowling figures of 7/20, which is the best against England in ODIs beating Waqar"s 7/36 of 2001.

In reply Aussies chasing a modest total of 205 were in dire straits at 48 for four with Caddick taking all of them. Bevan and Lehmann coming to the rescue played sensibly and added 62 runs in 20 overs. It looked like these two will take the Aussies home but then Lehmann played a lazy shot of White edging it to Stewart.

Giles picked two quick wickets and Caddick running out Lee left Australia at 135 for 8, with no hopes left for the batting team. But Bichel had other ideas and he was not going to let his bowling efforts go in vain.

He came in pumped looking for boundaries while on the other end the calm finisher Bevan kept taking those one"s and two"s. With two overs remaining, Australia needed 14 more to win and with Anderson bowling, Bichel was in no mood of waiting more and hit Anderson"s slower ball from outside off over midwicket for six, and then drove an attempted yorker between mid-wicket and mid-on for four.

Bevan hit the winning runs and finished with 74 along with the match"s hero finishing on 34. The partnership was worth 73 in 12 overs and set a new 9th wicket partnership record for this ground (previous best: 37 Harbhajan Singh and BKV Prasad, India v Kenya, Port Elizabeth, 2001/02) and also for Australia v England in ODIs (previous: 33* KJ Hughes and G Dymock, The Oval, 1980).

England got closer and closer to beat Australia that day but this bloke from Queensland who had been carrying the drinks for most part of the tournament stood tall when it mattered the most.

Read more about: andy bichel, australia, england
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