Opener Shane Watson has made one-day international cricket history with the highest ever score by an Australian as the visitors romped to victory against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Monday.
Chasing what had seemed a testing target of 230, Australia reached it in 26 overs, with nine wickets in hand, as the blond allrounder smashed an unbeaten 185 in 96 balls to become a one-man wrecking crew.
Matthew Hayden held the previous record for Australia’s top score in one-day cricket, with 181 not out against New Zealand in 2007.
Watson’s innings included 15 sixes, the most by any player in a one-day match ever, with the previous record 12 by West Indian Xavier Marshall.
He also amassed the biggest proportion of runs by an individual in a team’s one-day score, with 79.7 per cent of Australia’s total, ousting West Indian master blaster Viv Richards (69.48 per cent) from the top of that tally.
Watson reached his ton in the 20th over, in just 69 balls, which left him trailing only Hayden (66 balls) and Adam Gilchrist (67) for Australia’s quickest centuries.
But he picked up the pace even further after his ton, with nine sixes to follow, including four in successive balls off Suhrawadi Shuvo and later three in an over off fellow left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak.
He brought up the highest score by an Australian with another six off paceman Rubel Hossain in the following over, two balls before Ponting (37 not out from 42 balls) hit the winning runs.
The onslaught started immediately Australia’s innings began, with Watson belting 14 from the opening over.
He had 27 runs before opening partner Brad Haddin (eight) had faced a ball and scored 53 of their 62-run opening stand.
Watson then scored 132 of his 170-run unbroken partnership with Ponting.
Earlier, Mitchell Johnson took three wickets as Bangladesh made 7-229.