Michael Bevan was a one day cricket batting maestro.
Here are my top 12 Michael Bevan one day innings – some you may recall some you may never have heard of.
12. 105 Australia A v England, SCG, 12 January 1995
Australia A needed to win this match and overtake England on net run rate to make the finals of the World Series in 1994/95. Bevan had been in the Australian team at the start of the tournament but dropped down to Australia A.
Batting first Australia A needed to set a big total and Bevan (105 off 102 balls) and Greg Blewett, who both made centuries as the team made 269, set England a total and a net run rate target that proved beyond them.
11. 106 Australia v South Africa, Docklands, Melbourne, 16 August 2000
In the first game of international cricket played indoors at the Docklands stadium in Melbourne Australia were struggling at 3 for 37 in the 12th over when Bevan, batting at number 4, combined with Steve Waugh for a 222 run partnership.
When Bevan was out for 106 in the 46th over the total was 259; the recovery mission was complete and Australia recorded an easy 94 run victory. South Africa must have been sick of the sight of Bevan and Steve Waugh by 2000.
10. 130 Australian Cricket Academy v Australia, Adelaide Oval, 28 October 1997
For the 10 year anniversary of the Australian Cricket Academy a match was played a the Adelaide Oval between the Cricket Academy and Australia.
The Cricket Academy XI batted first and boasting a batting line up of Michael Slater, Adam Gilchrist, Greg Blewett, Stuart Law and Ricky Ponting ran up a total of 277.
Led by fast bowlers Paul “Blocker” Wilson (now an international umpire) and a young Brett Lee, 2 years before his test debut when he was still Shane Lee’s brother, the Academy team reduced Australia to 5 for 77.
Enter Micahel Bevan.
Bevan scored 130 off 129 balls to single-handedly save Australia’s blushes – the next highest score was 32. The match ended in a tie after number 10 Adam Dale (remember him) hit the last ball of the match for 4.
9. 87 * Australia v India, 5th ODI, Goa, 8 April 2001
Australia and India played a 5 game one day series after the famous 2001 India v Australia test series.
With the series locked at 2-2 after 4 matches it was winner take all in the final game in Goa. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Australia had been set 265 for victory and were on track thanks to a whirlwind 76 to Adam Gilchrist. Regular wickets made the task harder but Bevan and Ian Harvey of all people guided Australia home with a couple of overs to spare.
It probably came as no surprise to Indian fans that Bevan would steer Australia home on Indian soil – he had done exactly the same thing almost exactly three years prior.
India, Australia and Zimbabwe played a tri-series in India in April 1998 with Australia and India meeting in the final. Despite Australia being unable to beat India in the preliminary round, they beat India in the final, chasing down 228 with 8 balls to spare thanks to 75 not out to Bevan.
8. 135* Western Australia v New South Wales, Mercantile Mutual Cup final, WACA, February 25 2001
Michael Bevan had never previously scored a domestic one day hundred and choose the perfect time to do so – the Mercantile Mutual Cup final in 2000/01.
Western Australia had scored 272 off their 50 overs and New South Wales looked to be up against it with a line up of 4 batsmen, 2 all rounders and 5 bowlers. Opening with Brad Haddin, a young Michael Clarke made a half century but it was Bevan, batting at number 3, who guided NSW home with an unbeaten 135 of 137 balls against a bowling line up of Jo Angel, Brad Williams, Brendon Julian, Tom Moody and Brad Hogg (who went the journey: 7 – 0 – 47-0)
It is interesting to note in the WA innings, Michael Hussey, made a quickfire 84 from 68 balls with 11 boundaries batting at number 6 (below Brendon Julian!) Hussey had been a gritty opener for WA but after being dropped from their one day side reinvented him self as a dashing finsher batting down the order.
7. 65 Australia v South Africa, Edgbaston, 1999 World Cup Semi Final, 17 June 1999
Michael Bevan played his best when the stakes were highest, here he was the top scorer from both teams in what is considered by some to be the greatest one day game ever played.
Australia had been reduced to 4-68 off 16 overs by Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald; who else but Steve Waugh – fresh off his 120* against South Africa that got Australia into the semi finals – and Michael Bevan got Australia back on track with half centuries. After Waugh departed and Alan Donald blew away the tail, Bevan was last man out for 65 off 110 balls.
The end of this match is well known – here it is.
6. 69 Australia v West Indies, Mohali, 1996 World Cup Semi Final, 14 March 1996
Australia had already lost to the West Indies i the group stage of the World Cup and were in serious trouble when Micahel Bevan joined Stuart Law a the crease with the score 4/15 in the Semi final in Mohali.
The top 4 of M Waugh (0), Taylor (1 off 11 balls ), Ponting (0 off 15 balls) and S Waugh (3) had been blown away by Curtley Ambrose and Ian Bishop.
Law (72 off 105 balls) and Bevan (69 off 110 balls) survived and then slowly accumulated runs to give the Australian total some respectability. Australia managed 8 for 207 thanks to the 138 run partnership between Law and Bevan – at the time the 3rd highest 5th wicket partnership in World Cups.
The West Indies were cruising at 2/165 and Australia tried everything – even Stuart Law bowling leg spin. The Windies then rearraned their batting order, promoting hitters Roger Harper and Otis Gibson, panicked and imploded in spectacular fashion losing their last 8 wickets for 37 runs to lose by 5 runs.
5. 103 Australia v South Africa, Centurion Park, 10 April 1997
This was the 6th match of a 7 game ODI series against South Africa with Australia leading 3-2 after 5 matches.
Australia was a team in transition- Michael DiVenuto debuted opening the innings, Adam Gilchrist took the gloves for the suspended Ian Healy before playing as a batsmen only when Healy returned.
Mark Taylor was dropped after 2 matches and Australia had 3 different captains in the 7 games – Taylor, Ian Healy and Steve Waugh.
South Africa batted first and ran up 284. Australia were looking out of their depth at 3-58 before Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan shared a 189 run stand. Bevan scored 103 of 95 balls and Australia cashed down the target with 6 balls to spare.
Adam Gilchrist, batting at 6, and Ian Healy were at the crease when the winning runs were scored.
Australia had won the 7 match ODI series with a game to spare.
4. 102* Australia v New Zealand, MCG, 29 January 2002
A familiar tale, New Zealand ran up 245 and in reply Australia collapsed to be 6 for 82.
Enter Bevan slowly accumulating at first, apparently unfussed by the climbing required run rate and then knowing exactly when and how to accelerate the scoring rate as his innings developed and the target came within sight.
Bevan shared useful partnerships with tailenders Shane Warne (50 in 84 balls), Brett Lee (50 in 38 balls) and finally Andy Bichel (13 off 5 balls) as Australia chased down the target with 3 balls to spare. Bevan finished on 102 not out off 95 balls.
It was another chapter in the Bevan miracle worker book and one that I witnessed first hand.
3. 74* Australia v England, Port Elizabeth, 2003 World Cup, March 2 2003
This was the final group match for England and Australia – England needed to win to make it through to the Super 6 stage, Australia were looking to maintain their unbeaten record so far in the World Cup.
Andy Bichel ripped through England’s batting line up taking 7/20 off 10 overs, leaving Australia chasing 205 for victory.
Australia slumped to 4/48 before Darren Lehmann momentarily stemmed tide with Bevan and then Australia collapsed again to be floundering at 8/135. This brought the irrepressible Bichel to the crease and he combined with Bevan to guide Australia home in the final over with 2 balls to spare.
At the same venue a week later Bevan and Bichel were at it again leading a recovery mission batting first against New Zealand in the Super 6 stage.
2. 185* Rest of the World XI v Asia XI, Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 8 2000
For something called ICC Cricket Week in Dhaka, I think to celebrate Bangladesh’s inclusion as a Test playing nation, a one day game was played between an Asia XI and a Rest of the World XI.
Batting first the Asia XI made 320 and the Rest of the World XI were up against it facing a monster chase. Enter Michael Bevan who made 185 not out off 132 balls with 19 4’s and 5 6’s when no other batsmen made more than 28.
At 7/196 after 37 overs Bevan found an unlikely allie in number 9, Andy Caddick (batting ludicrously high up the order) and the pair put on 119 in 13 overs.
With 20 runs required to win off the final over Caddick managed a leg bye off the first ball then Bevan hit three consecutive 4’s off Abdul Razzaq.
2 balls left and 7 runs required, Andy Caddick didn’t bother grounding his bat returning for the second run and was run out. It left 6 runs needed off the last ball, Bevan hit it for 4 and the Asia XI won by 1 run.
1. 78* Australia v West Indies, SCG, January 1 1996
The original and still the best – the game that made Michael Bevan’s reputation as a one day player.
In a rain affected match at the SCG on New Years Day 1996 Australia had slumped to 6 for 38 chasing 173 for victory in 43 overs.
Bevan expertly worked with the tail notably Paul Reifell who made 34 off 48 balls to get Australia close. But when number 11 Glenn McGrath took strike with 3 balls left Australia still needed 5 runs for victory.
We all know what happened next. Here it is.
The long version
The short version
Have I missed any great Bevan innings? Let me know in the comments below.