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Last Updated:  Sunday, 2 March, 2003, 17:56 GMT

Aussies hail hero Bichel
Australia's Andy Bichel
Bichel had an awesome day

Australia piled the praise on hero of the hour Andy Bichel after his performance in Australia's nail-biting victory over England.

The medium pacer played the best one-day game of his career as the world champions pulled off a fantastic chase to beat Nasser Hussain's men by two wickets.

Captain Ricky Ponting said: "We didn't play anywhere near our best, which was concerning, but Andy Bichel put on a show for everyone today with ball and bat."

Bichel returned figures of seven for 20 - the second best in World Cup history - before forming a 73-run partnership with Michael Bevan to seal a 14th successive win over England.

Bevan, who hit an unbeaten 74, was delighted with his team-mate's display.

You dream of a day when you can get seven wickets in a one-day game
Andy Bichel
"In my eyes, you don't get any tougher situations than coming onto bowl when the team's scoring seven an over, and coming onto bat when you need six an over," Bevan said afterwards.

"It was an awesome display and well done to him."

Having put the brakes on England after they had made an encouraging start to their innings, Bichel then batted superbly, hitting a crucial slog for six in the penultimate over to put Australia in sight of victory.

"I missed the last World Cup so I was looking forward to this one and worked hard to get here," said Bichel, who was only playing because of an injury to first choice Jason Gillespie.

"You dream of a day when you can get seven wickets in a one-day game.

"There was nip in the pitch for me and the wickets were my reward."

The 32-year-old Queenslander added that Bevan's vast experience helped him.

"When I go into bat, my target is always to show how it has improved and with a cool head like Michael's, it was a job well done," Bichel said.

"He told me where the ball was coming and his experience paid off."

Captain Ponting was also full of praise for Bevan, who steadied the batting for Australia after a quick succession of wickets and hit the winning runs with just two balls left.

"It was a great effort and Michael Bevan was his usual very safe during the middle of the innings," Ponting said.

"We knew if he was in at the end, we'd have a very good chance and he steered us to really great win."





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Australia's Andy Bichel
"You never give up till the last ball is bowled"



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