Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day December 16, 2013

Bailey hits world-record 28 off over


George Bailey, Australia's newest Test player, has joined Brian Lara in the history books by equalling his world record of 28 runs in a Test over. Bailey's assault came off the bowling of James Anderson in the final over of Australia's second innings at the WACA and matched Lara's mauling of Robin Peterson at the Wanderers, which occurred ten years ago almost to the day.

Bailey, who was playing his third Test, could have been forgiven for batting conservatively given that he has yet to really cement his place in the side, but followed the team plan for quick runs to allow Michael Clarke to declare once the lead passed 500. His attack against a bowler of Anderson's quality and Test experience highlighted the gulf that has grown between the two sides this series and pleased his team-mates no end.

"We didn't know it was a record," Shane Watson said after stumps. "There's no doubt we've had quite a few bad experiences against Jimmy Anderson. To see that is always nice to have the shoe on the other foot, because he's certainly had the upper hand on a lot of our batsmen in the Ashes series that I've been involved in ... at certain times individuals in the Australian team have been at his mercy. It certainly provided a little bit of enjoyment for us."

Watson had already thrilled the crowd with a sustained assault on the England bowlers earlier in the session, his best over having brought 22 when he launched Graeme Swann down the ground for three sixes. But Bailey's efforts were all the more remarkable given Anderson's pace, and brought to mind the way he has played in his highly successful one-day international career.

He began with a hard cut that flew over the slips and ran away for four, then followed up with a straight six that cleared the sightscreen at the Prindiville Stand End. A two clipped through the leg side followed, and then came a better-placed swat through square leg for four. Bailey finished the over with two more sixes down the ground, one that just cleared long-off and another that sailed much further into the crowd at long-on.

Anderson was unable to find a length that stopped Bailey from getting under the ball but Clarke's declaration at the end of the over prevented any further carnage, although Anderson and his team-mates still looked dejected as they left the field facing a chase of 504. Bailey was left unbeaten on 39 from 30 deliveries; he had started the over with 11 from 24 balls.

Anderson now holds the unwanted record of most runs conceded by a fast bowler in a Test over, the previous record having been the 25 that Andy Roberts took off Ian Botham at Port-of-Spain in 1980-81. Australia's previous record for most runs in an over was the 26 that Mitchell Johnson - Bailey's partner during the over - clubbed off Paul Harris at the Wanderers in 2008-09.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham on December 17, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    Jared Hansen ; By rough start, I was just saying what you said "Obviously you'd be a mug to say Anderson isn't very, very good. Last year he was one of the absolute best around" but not putting it as well of you. Your description of Anderson is very accurate, I have often defended Siddles career record by comparing with ANderson. Just some of the comments have gone way over the top with there critisisms, where as your post shows knowledge of the games, quite a few do not display that.

  • Dummy4 on December 17, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    @Shaggy076 : Anderson got his average under 30, by my recollection, for all of one test. I don't disagree that an average in the 30s is fine for a bowler. Garry Sobers averaged in the 30s! But it is a relevant point when people talk about Anderson as being one of the 'greats'. Especially when Siddle, Harris, Bollinger, Johnson and even Hilfenhaus (!!) have averages in the 20s and have been sneered at by opposing teams and fans for not being good enough(a bit less now, perhaps).

    I have to say I'm confused by the argument that Anderson had a rough start in tests, as well. Erm, so? That's how the game works. Steyn has had bad matches, too. Most bowlers do. And Bradman's career started and ended poorly - didn't stop him from being the statistically greatest player ever.

    Obviously you'd be a mug to say Anderson isn't very, very good. Last year he was one of the absolute best around. But I can't begrudge anyone extracting some schadenfreude from Atlas' sore back.

  • wayne on December 17, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    GurSinghgur...poor judgement? Interesting. Though I didn't choose to express my opinion with more than the phrase "Jimmy is an ordinary trundler when there's no swing", the latter part is the important point: James Anderson, as skilful as he is when he has a bit of cloud overhead, often looks quite ordinary when the conditions are unsuitable. Nice to see him getting a bit of extra pace off the pitch in Australia, but unless he does something with the ball - anything! - it's going to remain a very poor series for him. Shame, too - after all the boasting that came from certain regulars, I was expecting a real show! Perhaps Melbourne and Sydney will suit him better. After all, he's probably got his work cut out for him with the likelihood of Broad's absence. I'm hoping for a more even contest on Boxing Day. PS. I liked Harmony's post: sarcasm done right.

  • Hashir on December 17, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    If a combined game of Tests, ODIs and T20s can be formulated, I'd propose Bailey as the captain of the World XI. Sheer courage to hit a bowler of the caliber of Jimmy Anderson to bay, knowing his career is the commodity at stake. Well played Bailey.

  • Dummy4 on December 17, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Arslan_Javed, Sobers 36 in an over was in a County Game, not a test match.

  • gurudev on December 17, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Oh dear, Harmony 111, you do prove my point, don't you? Sarcasm really is the lowest form of wit. And there was I thinking I'd kill two birds with one stone, but choosing not to name FFC, since at least his opinion of Anderson, though pretty clearly unfair, was not one of sarcastic sneering and jeering. So agreed, yes indeed it wasn't you, Harmony 111, who called him an "ordinary trundler" but someone else with equally poor judgment but a less schoolyard notion of how to express it.

  • Dummy on December 17, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    The crackes in the pitch for the next test should be big enough for 11 players to hide in there. #shambles

  • Graham on December 17, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    sanjaycrickfan ; If I recall correctly England performed exceptionally well in India. I know Australia has performed extremely well in South Africa, Sri Lanka, UAE, West Indies and New Zealand to name a few countries. That's just a few examples for you, Im not going to analyse every countries performance but there are a lot of good performances on foreign soil.

  • disco on December 17, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    @bouncer709, two things make it special. 1. it's Test cricket not ODI, and 2. all the previous record Test overs have been against slow bowlers. Jimmy was bowling over 140K

  • Sanjay on December 17, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Australia clearly proving to be the better side over England because despite losing the series in England, the contests were much closer than the scoreline. They came close to winning in a couple of games and Aussie bowlers bowled just as well as English bowlers. Its the batsmen who led them down. Whereas in this series, England never looked like competing against Australia and were clearly blown away. I feel England is not a particularly good side outside home but then again, most sides in world cricket now are doing well at home and poorly outside.

    Good to see Australia winning again. I missed their aggression and their brand of cricket.

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