The former Australian cricketer Michael Bevan is hailed as the first-ever accepted finisher in modern-day cricket. Counted among one of the greatest of all time, Bevan was an enigma for bowlers and is known for the manner he used to seal the victories for his side.
On his birthday today, here we look back at his five best knocks:
78* vs West Indies (Sydney 1996)
Bevan’s unbeaten 78 run knock against West Indies in the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is rated as one of the best in his career. Batting first, West Indies scored a paltry 172 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 43 overs. An easy run chase got interesting after Australia were reduced to 38/6, courtesy of Curtly Ambrose and Ottis Gibson.
Bevan walked to bat at number five, when Australia was 32/4. He snitched a crucial 83-run stand with Paul Reiffel for the eighth wicket and snatched the victory from jaws of defeat. He remained unbeaten at 78 off 88 balls as Australia won the match by one wicket. His knock was laced six fours.
102* vs New Zealand (Melbourne, 2002)
Chasing 246 runs for a win against New Zealand in Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia found itself in trouble after they were left reeling at 82 for six. Bevan walked to bat at number four, when the scoreboard read 53/4.
The ace cricketer got Australia out of the mud by snitching 61 and 81 run partnerships with Shane Warne and Brett Lee, respectively. Bevan scored the sixth century of his career off 93 balls, before guiding home to a two-wicket win over Kiwis with three balls to spare.
87* vs India (Margao 2001)
Chasing 266 runs for a win, Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist gave Australia a flying start. However, an easy chase turned tricky, after Javagal Srinath removed Hayden and Ponting in the same over. Bevan gave Gilchrist the much-needed support from the other end.
However, after the departure of the wicket-keeper batsman, Australia’s innings fell apart as the likes Steve Waugh, Darren Lehmann and Andrew Symonds fell cheaply. In the end, Ian Healy gave Bevan the support from the other end as he guided Australia to a four-wicket win.
79* vs Pakistan (Melbourne 1997)
Bevan scored his maiden ODI hundred in 1997 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) against a world-class South African bowling attack. Chasing 182 for a win, Bevan walked to bat when the scoreboard read 14/2 and remained unbeaten at 79. Bevan anchored Australia’s innings from one end as wickets tumbled at the other end and guided them to a three-wicket win with three balls to spare.
72* vs Sri Lanka (Perth 1999)
Bevan walked to bat after the run out of Ricky Ponting, when the scoreboard read 138/4 after 29 overs and the game was in balance. However, a magnificent knock from of 72 runs off 65 balls guided Australia to a 45-run win. Riding on Bevan’s quick-fire fifty, Australia posted a challenging 274 runs for the loss of seven wickets. And a bowling master class from Glenn McGrath guided Australia to a comfortable win over Islanders.