Man with a broad bat

SOME call him a `Crisis Man', while some others term him a `Finisher.' He has won many matches for Australia with his cool, calm and percentage performance with the bat. He is Michael Gwyl Bevan, a powerfully built 33-year-old left-handed middle-order batsman.

When the top-order fails, he is there to shore up the team. His trade mark shots are nudges, glides and pushes with an occasional boundary thrown in. Bevan is a busy man in the middle. His frenetic scampering between the wickets has earned him runs in tons. A member of the Australian one-day team for a good number of years, Bevan has been a part of the victorious World Cup sides in 1999 and 2003. He has also figured in many other international wins for Australia.

Dubbed as one of the world's best limited overs batsmen, he has the astonishing knack of playing the ball into the gaps with minimum fuss. Bevan also places a high price on his wicket and makes the bowlers toil.

At Guwahati's Nehru Stadium, New Zealand was at the receiving end of Bevan's skilful strokeplay.

Born in Canberra, Bevan made his one-day International debut against Sri Lanka in the Australasia Cup at Sharjah in 1993-94 and since then he has been one of the country's mainstays.

Bevan's unbeaten 84 against the Kiwis was his highest in Guwahati, surpassing his previous best of 79 scored against South Africa in 1996.

He has already figured in 218 matches, played 183 innings (including the Guwahati match), remained unbeaten 64 times and scored 6594 runs. An unbeaten 108 is his highest score, hit against England at The Oval in 1997. His average is an impressive 55.41 and his strike rate 74.26. He has six hundreds and 44 half-centuries to his credit. He has also been an outstanding fielder for Australia, taking 67 catches.