Shane Watson has established himself as a reputation of being a right-handed Mathew Hayden, since taking on his role as opener in all forms of the game. In Australia's opening game of the ICC World Twenty20 against Pakistan in St Lucia, Watson made a brutal half-century and played the lead role in a 98-run stand for the third wicket with David Hussey, who was just as brutal. They helped Australia to a match-winning 191.
Watson feasted hungrily in the summer at Pakistan's expense and his love affair continued in more romantic surroundings. A little luck initially helped him, two tough chances put down. More help came from the bulldozing ways of David Warner, the pair giving Australia a brisk start. Warner fell soon after, as did Michael Clarke, but Watson simply bullied his way forth. The brutality of his batting has grown but so has, slyly, his handling of spin. Mohammad Hafeez was heaved for three sixes, the last of which brought up his fifty in the 10th over.
He was intelligent against Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal, not always picking them, but picking away each bad ball. A couple of full tosses were driven and pulled and one cut was a cross-format shot. A century was there for the taking but he was eventually trapped for 81 by Ajmal. It was a quicker ball, flat and full. Watson was looking to unleash another huge leg-side swipe, but missed and was struck bang in front. It brought an end to a brilliant knock.