VB Series / Features

Australia v Sri Lanka, VB Series final, Sydney

Murali's nightmare, and an Aussie run-glut

Muttiah Muralitharan conceded 99 off his ten overs against Australia at Sydney, the most expensive ten-over spell in an ODI

S Rajesh and Kanishkaa Balachandran

February 12, 2006

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  • Muttiah Muralitharan will not have fond memories of February 12, 2006. A bowler who had conceded more than 70 just once in 268 one-day matches disappeared for 99, the most expensive figures in a ten-over spell in ODIs. His previous-worst was 73, conceded against Pakistan at Nairobi more than nine years ago. Then, at least, he had the consolation of picking up two wickets; here, he wasn't even allowed that solace.

    In fact, the VB Series hasn't been a happy time for Muralitharan. In his first match of the tournament, he went for 67 against the Australians, his third-most expensive figures.

    Murali's most expensive ODI spells
    Versus Spell Venue and year Result
    Australia 10-0-99-0 Sydney, 2005-06 Lost by 167 runs
    Pakistan 10-0-73-2 Nairobi, 1996 Lost by 82 runs
    Australia 10-1-67-0 Melbourne, 2005-06 Lost by 116 runs
    New Zealand 10-1-62-1 Hamilton, 1995 Lost by 57 runs
    Pakistan 10-0-61-1 Kimberley, 1998 Lost by 4 wickets
    India 10-0-60-0 Taunton, 1999 Lost by 157 runs

  • Australia's score of 368 for 5 is their highest in ODIs, going past their previous highest of 359 for 2 against India in the 2003 World Cup final. This is also the highest team score in Australia, beating the previous best of 359 for 5 made by the home team against India at the same ground, SCG, in the second final of the 2003-04 VB Series.

  • The fourth-wicket partnership of 237 between Andrew Symonds and Ricky Ponting is the highest stand for Australia for all wickets in ODIs. This beats the previous best of 234 not out between Ponting and Damien Martyn for the third wicket against India in the 2003 World Cup final at Johannesburg. Click here for the list of highest partnerships for Australia.

  • Andrew Symonds, who scored 151, came close to beating his own world record for the highest individual score by a No.5 batsman. Symonds's 156 against New Zealand at Wellington in the recent Chappell-Hadlee series remains the highest. Grant Flower of Zimbabwe comes third, with an unbeaten 142 against Bangladesh in 2000-01.

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    S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
    Tournament Results
    Australia v Sri Lanka at Brisbane - Feb 14, 2006
    Australia won by 9 wickets (with 27 balls remaining)
    Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney - Feb 12, 2006
    Australia won by 167 runs
    Australia v Sri Lanka at Adelaide - Feb 10, 2006
    Sri Lanka won by 22 runs
    South Africa v Sri Lanka at Hobart - Feb 7, 2006
    Sri Lanka won by 76 runs
    Australia v South Africa at Sydney - Feb 5, 2006
    Australia won by 57 runs
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