Bangladesh v Australia, 2nd ODI, Mirpur

Watson's knock was one-off, says Nafees

Daniel Brettig at the Shere Bangla Stadium

April 11, 2011

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Shane Watson reached his fifty off just 26 balls, Bangladesh v Australia, 2nd ODI, Mirpur, April 11, 2011
Shane Watson's 185 included 15 sixes © Associated Press
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Shahriar Nafees, the Bangladesh batsman, has said his side can take positives out of Monday's match at the Shere Bangla Stadium, despite their crushing loss to Australia. He said Shane Watson's storming knock of 185 off 96 balls, during which he broke the record for the most number of sixes in a one-day innings with 15, was a "once-in-a-lifetime" performance, and Bangladesh's score would have been competitive had they not caught Watson on "his day."

Rather than wallow in the wreckage left by Watson, Nafees said it was better for his side to think about the lower-order rearguard that lifted them from 88 for 5 to 229-7, a total that at the change of innings appeared reasonably competitive. Nafees had played his role in getting Bangladesh to a decent score; he held firm through a top order collapse and got 56. The score may have been harder to chase had it not been for Watson's belligerence, and Nafees reminded his team-mates of that ahead of the final match of the series on Wednesday.

"I think we made a decent score on this wicket and we are used to defending this type of score," he said. "I think Watson's innings was a rare innings, a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

"Seeing the way he played, I think 300-350 wouldn't have been enough. But it is definitely disappointing for us. Any defeat is demoralising. But I think if you tell Watson to play this sort of an innings tomorrow, he won't be able to do it.

"It was his day and if you have noticed, I think seven of his sixes were mishits. But all credit goes to him, what an outstanding innings. What we can take from this game is that we recovered well with the bat after a bad start. After losing three wickets we had partnerships and that's a positive. Putting up a total that can be defended is always something we talk about in the dressing room.

"It would be best if we don't think about this Watson innings and instead think about continuing our batting positives."

Also absolved from guilt in Nafees' mind is the Bangladesh spin attack, usually far more constricting on a turning surface than they were made to look by Watson.

"In the recent past, our left-arm spin-based bowling attack has been useful. If you leave aside Zimbabwe, when New Zealand were here, this attack did very well."

"In the last game, apart from the last Powerplay, the spinners did a decent job. If someone plays this sort of an innings, any bowling attack would have badly struggled."

The physical contrast between the stout Watson and the lithe Bangladesh players being stark, left Nafees estimating his own six count in a similar situation. "I think he hit 15 sixes because he's stronger than our batsmen," Nafees said. "If I was there in his place, maybe I would have hit 10 boundaries and three sixes. This is the difference."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Copernicus on (April 14, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

Mr. Tariq Islam - before you make any more assumptions, I am actually Canadian. And while I live in Australia, I've no great love for their cricket team. However, I also think Bangladesh's special treatment by the ICC is most unfair given how little progress they have made. Yes I realise my native country has consistenly disappointed but the point still stands that Bangladesh (and Zimbabwe for that matter) aren't really up to international standard, so if they are allowed to clog the international stage with mediocre-to-pathetic cricket I don't see why countries like Ireland should not.

Posted by Meety on (April 13, 2011, 7:26 GMT)

@kalyankk1985 - scoring has 200 has been the sights of batsmen for ages, ever since Viv Richards blasted 187 about 30yrs ago it was going to be done. With the advent of T20 creating more hitting zones (Dil-scoop), stronger bats, shorter boundaries, 200 will be achieved on a regular occurance. Congrats to SRT for being the first, others will get there with better S/Rates in the not too distant future.

Posted by kalyankk1985 on (April 13, 2011, 2:38 GMT)

@Chris Ward : To make a score of 200, cricketers all over the world have struggled for over 40 years of ODI cricket .. Its not that 200 is impossible for a batsman on a good day .. Suppose if shane watson has made 10 scores of 150-180 before sachin's 200- he would have tried to or thought of converting one or two of them into 200's .. But after sachins 200, if he makes 10 scores of 150-180 he would try to convert atleast 5-6 of them into 200's and make it big on one or more occasions ..This mentality change is brought by sachin achieving the record - That means he proved the dream of 200 in ODI possible something realizable .. His 200 has this speciality of breaking a mental hurdle of 200 for 40 yrs .. It got to be very special and none other than sachin is the person to do it .. if it was not for him, I doubt how much long it would have taken for a 200 in ODI .. making 200 in ODI is just not cricket, that requires some x factor as well to cross something so hard for over 40 yrs ..

Posted by mumbai_matrix on (April 13, 2011, 1:44 GMT)

@Lyndon Barham ....i am fully agree with you....

Posted by   on (April 12, 2011, 20:50 GMT)

I did not find this to be particularly special, this was nothing more than a swiper taking advantage of a substandard bowling attack.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2011, 9:44 GMT)

wonder what bangladesh team does with all the positives it takes after losing nearly all the games it plays?

Posted by Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on (April 12, 2011, 8:45 GMT)

has everyone started discussing tendu here? why am I not surprised

Posted by Aussasinator on (April 12, 2011, 8:13 GMT)

He should have done it or do it against a sllghtly better attack. Then , perhaps, it would come into the sphere of reckoning!

Posted by mumbai_matrix on (April 12, 2011, 7:53 GMT)

thank god...Aussies now have something to cheer for...

Posted by analyseabhishek on (April 12, 2011, 6:36 GMT)

It's heartening to see Nafees sport a positive attitude. Scoring 185 out of 232 in 26 overs of play is indeed once-in-a-lifetime- albeit something that would now bless Watson with enough x-factor to scare his opponents! However, the Bangla players should not get into the physically stout part. They may take inspiration from Ganguli who was hardly physically imposing but who did impose himself with the bat, hitting many sixes- many of them long ones.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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