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April 20, 2007
Throughout this tournament, Matthew Hayden has bludgeoned the new-ball bowlers and it was no different against New Zealand in Grenada. A Shane Bond-less attack didn't have a chance on a flat surface, as Hayden powered his way to his third century of the tournament and became only the third batsman, after Mark Waugh and Sourav Ganguly, to achieve the feat in a World Cup. The result was a resounding 215-run defeat for New Zealand, their heaviest in an ODI. The previous worst drubbing was by 189 runs, against Sri Lanka earlier this year at Auckland.
The Numbers Game column on Friday analysed the manner in which Hayden has been so successful in dominating bowlers in the first ten overs. Before this match he had scored 92 runs from 99 balls without being dismissed. Today, he raced to 38 off 35 balls by the tenth over, by which time Australia were 77 for 1. From there New Zealand didn't have a chance.
Hayden striding down the track and cracking the ball over mid-on is perhaps one of the most intimidating sights in cricket, and New Zealand were at the receiving end time and again. It wasn't that they bowled poorly, but the good-length deliveries were smashed with such regularity that any team would have been demoralised. In all, Hayden scored 63 of his 103 in the V between mid-off and mid-on, another clear indication that it was a typical Hayden knock.
|Length||Balls||Runs||4s/ 6s||Run rate|
|Full length||14||16||2/ 0||6.86|
|Good length||83||84||8/ 2||6.07|
The one bowler who managed to exercise some control on proceedings was Jeetan Patel, who conceded just 48 runs from ten overs, took two wickets, and restricted Hayden to 14 runs from 18 deliveries. He bowled four of his overs during the Powerplays and conceded just 18, and then came back on for three more after the 40th, in which he went for 13 runs and took a wicket. That's seven overs under intense pressure, for only 31 runs and a wicket. Unfortunately there wasn't much else that went right for New Zealand.
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