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Last Updated:  Sunday, 23 February, 2003, 15:04 GMT

Davison's magic moment
By Martin Gough
BBC Sport at Centurion Park

Davison fell one short of Viv Richards' sixes record

Had Vasbert Drakes not taken a leaping catch at long-on to dismiss John Davison for 111, he would have allowed the Canadian to equal one of the feats of a West Indies legend.

Viv Richards set the record for the most sixes in a World Cup innings, with seven maximums against Sri Lanka at Karachi in 1987.

But Richards, now West Indies chairman of selectors, was powerless as he watched the current Caribbean side taken apart by, of all things, a North American.

"I'm pleased to be here to see this knock - it was magnificent," the Master Blaster said afterwards.

Once it hit the middle of the bat and I worked out it was a good wicket I decided to chance my arm
John Davison

Skipper Carl Hooper put the innings into context, though, saying: "When I went to bed last night the last thing I was thinking about was a Canadian playing the way he did."

Of course, Davison is not quite a common - or garden - Canadian.

Born in British Columbia to Australian parents, he moved Down Under aged five weeks, and did not return until 1999, when administrators who had ignored his previous enquiries finally noticed his form.

Davison had a major role in Canada's qualification for this World Cup.

But it was his 15 wickets in 10 matches, rather than his 145 runs with the bat, that helped them finish third in the 2001 ICC Trophy in Toronto.

Fastest one-day 100s
37 balls: Shahid Afridi
45 balls: Brian Lara
48 balls: Sanath Jayasuriya
62 balls: Mohammad Azharuddin
67 balls: Basit Ali
67 balls: John Davison

Since moving to South Australia from Victoria - where he was kept out by spinners Shane Warne, Colin Miller and Cameron White - at the beginning of this season, he has taken his tally of first-class appearances to 37.

But his first-class best with the bat - usually at nine in the order - is 72 not out, and he is not even a part of the Redbacks' one-day side.

Davison's promotion up the order as a pinch-hitter is a new tactic, and had proved unsuccessful in three matches prior to this.

There was no indication that he would set a new record for the fastest century in a World Cup as he strode out with Canada having been put in to bat by a side anxious to finish proceedings quickly.

Davison showed scant regard for the Caribbean attack, gaining the first of his sixes in just the fourth over of the day - a carved cut off Pedro Collins.

Viv Richards
Richards: Mightily impressed

Two of the West Indies most fearsome bowlers were batted out of the attack.

Merv Dillon watched three consecutive fours disappear in just the fifth over and Davison hooked Drakes with equal disdain.

"Once it hit the middle of the bat and I worked out it was a good wicket I decided to chance my arm," Davison said.

This was chance-filled innings, Davison surviving two chances while in the 70s, a delivery from Collins striking his shoe and rolling onto the stumps, and Dillon putting down a chance at mid-off.

But there were a few shots from the textbook of state coach Greg Chappell, who has worked with Davison on his batting this year.

That included the six off Dillon over long-on that brought up his 100 from 67 deliveries - five faster than Kapil Dev on his way to a classic 175 against Zimbabwe in 1983.

It is unlikely that, on any other day, Davison would gain a mention alongside two legends of the game.

"The beauty in playing for Canada is the opportunity," he said.

"To open the batting on a wicket that good is something I never expected.

"But I suppose it was my day."

Links to more Canada stories


Canadian batsman John Davison
"It was my day"

West Indies ease to win
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Windies back opening pair
20 Feb 03 |  West Indies
Windies game called off
18 Feb 03 |  Team Pages
Kiwi fightback shatters Windies
13 Feb 03 |  World Cup
Lara scuppers SA again
09 Feb 03 |  West Indies
Woolmer defends underdogs
20 Feb 03 |  World Cup
Sri Lanka crush Canada
19 Feb 03 |  Team Pages

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