Bangladesh v Australia, 2nd ODI, Mirpur April 11, 2011

Dizzy 201*, Watto 185*


For five years Jason Gillespie has strutted about as the sole claimant to the title of most memorable Australian innings in Bangladesh. Not anymore.

Gillespie's 201 not out in the second Test in Chittagong in 2006 remains a most remarkable effort, and even now the proud nightwatchman still signs his autograph as a cheeky 'Dizzy 201'. The fact it arrived in a Test will also ensure it as revered - or jokingly reviled if you were one of Gillespie's team-mates - for as long as Australians play cricket. But Shane Watson's pulverising, unbeaten 185 to secure a series victory over Bangladesh in Mirpur was so compelling, even with the caveat of a compliant Bangladesh attack, that it should not sit a million miles from Gillespie's double century.

"It's amazing that Jason Gillespie, for how amazing a bowler he was, he still signs his name 'Dizzy 201', so it's nice I've been able to do this," Watson said. "It's my first tour of Bangladesh so it's nice to be able to come and try to show your skills to different people, [and have] people appreciate what you do; so that's a nice bonus to having a good day. It's just one of those days where everything that you try comes out of the middle of the bat, a mis-hit goes into the gap or you get dropped.

"The reason I kept going after [reaching] 100 is because I was tired, and I didn't really want to run too much; I was either going to try to hit as many sixes as I could or get out because I was pretty tired, that was as simple as it was. It was hot and humid out there, so it was nice to be able to get a few out of the middle to save my running."

As an allrounder and now the team's vice-captain, fatigue is an ever-present issue for Watson, and he revealed his preference for batting second in limited-overs contests.

"It's always actually easier batting second; although you do get pretty hot from bowling first, it means I can actually get through my batting innings knowing I don't have to bowl next and don't have to use my energy," Watson said.

"So my preferred way of playing one-day cricket personally, is actually batting second because you don't need the energy. If it comes off like it did today, I don't have to run too much. So it was definitely nice today."

Watson was playing in Hamilton in 2007 when Matthew Hayden smote the previous Australian record for an ODI innings, an effort that was ultimately overshadowed by a furious New Zealand run-chase. This time there was no doubt about the decisive nature of the innings.

Australia's pre-series planning had focused on the volume of left-arm spin to be bowled by the home side, and Watson used the angle into him to powerful effect by swinging all his 15 sixes into the arc between square leg and straight mid on.

"Some of the balls [that] I did hit over the leg side weren't that [leg side], it was more so the length that meant I could hit [so]," he said. "But then also I was targeting the short side as well, so I was batting on off stump to try to get it over to the leg side. When the ball's not turning and bouncing like it can here, it makes that shot a lot easier to execute. If it's turning and bouncing that shot's a lot harder."

At the other end, Ricky Ponting watched with admiration, perhaps reminded of his two domineering innings in Johannesburg in 2003 and 2006. "[It] made my job easy," Ponting said. "[I] just had to get a single to give him strike.

"No one expected it to get over that fast. I have been lucky to play with some great players; Watto has played some great innings ... this was an amazing innings. Some of those sixes would have cleared any boundary in the world. It probably won't sink into us for a while now, how good that [innings] was."

As for Bangladesh, the local reaction was best summed up by a wry question lobbed Watson's way as he discussed the innings with the media: "What did you have for lunch today?"

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on April 14, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    @harshalb - umm what about Zimbabwe???? The Bangas are far ahead of Zimbabwe, yes I want to see Ireland in the 2015 WC - yes I'd like to see them get Test status, but not at the detriment of the Bangas. I want to see Tamim, Nafees, Rahim, Shakib & Mahmudullah playing top flight cricket.

  • Damien on April 13, 2011, 18:57 GMT

    How is it that a match involving Australia and Bangladesh, where a cavalier innings is the match-winner, ends up being high-jacked by an Indian fan trying to justify his devotion for another cricketer? Seriously, there are other countries and cricketers in the world with talent! Surprising as it may seem, others are interested in the cricket world outside of India.

  • Blake on April 13, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    It may not even be the best innings watson has played. He made 160 odd against england in the australian summer when they were chasing over 300. I would rate that innings higher than the bangladesh innings.

  • vipin on April 12, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    Dont know what does he eat before coming to Bat... 15th sixes... u need some power and stamina to play dat kind of innings... Watson was looking gud for even a score of 250, is target was much more den 230+

  • vijay on April 12, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    it was a pity that Aussies were chasing a small total....if they had batted first with Watson in that kind of form, i wud believe Lara's 400 cud have been under threat....great innings

  • Ankan on April 12, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    wonderful effort by Watto. If he goes on like this, Kallis may not remain the numero uno allrounder for long.

  • Vivek on April 12, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    everybody saying BD dont deserve to be playing tests....but they clean sweep NZ at home...beat england in wc....they are not a big team but they r progressing...tamim is good batsman....shakib according to icc is no. 1 allrounder....abdur razzak is also in top ten bowlers not far back....what WI doing better than BD to be a test playing nation.....this WC there performance is not that good as expected....but the same can happen to any team....ind and pak are out of wc 2007 in league state....bangladesh is not that strong but deserving to play at the highest level...they beat each of the test playing nation....india and srlanka twice newzeland 5 times WI 3 times Aus and SA once...

  • Dummy4 on April 12, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    @tim72 - no argument on your choice of bowler there! I was just trying to show that claiming the opponent is weaker does not necessarily devalue the effort / skill in the performance. Back on topic, Watson's innings is one of the great ones given the stats he put up. The job still had to be done, and he did it. The highest score is also not necessarily always the best innings. Look at Lara's 400 in test cricket, even he admits that his double century against Australia in Sydney was better.

  • Dummy4 on April 12, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    Hey guys maybe someone will break Sachin's double century record. but all of you remember that no body can break sachin's 18000+ score in dream however in reality.

  • Harshal on April 12, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    We need to bring Ireland in place of Bangladesh. For all the support and money Bangla received, they continue to be abject and their standard keeps plunging. Their presence in the test and ODI arena poses a serious threat that the time honored sacred records of cricket will be obliterated by a series of mediocre ones built upon the pathetic skills of this minnow. It was a mistake to admit them and it is a mistake to keep them. Their only contribution is to strengthen the South Asian block of votes in the ICC. They continue to be worse than even state or county or Ranji sides, there is simply no justification for them to remain in the field. If they continue then cricket will get buried under a pile of nonsense records and past and future achievements and statistics which occupy such an important place in cricket more than any other sport will be tarnished forever. ICC needs to throw them out and also annul all the recrods involving Bangla.

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