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Australian Blind cricketer Steffan Nero has set a new world record by clubbing an unbeaten 306 runs from 140 balls at the International Cricket Inclusion Series in Brisbane.
In the first of three ODIs against New Zealand, Nero smashed the previous record set by Pakistan's Masood Jan at the 1998 Blind Cricket World Cup, continuing a sizable winning streak for the Aussies.
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The home side had earlier claimed a 5-0 sweep of the T20 series, before the teams launched into the first of three ODIs overnight.
Nero began his innings in imperious fashion, reverse sweeping his first delivery for six.
That maximum would incredibly be the only one of Nero's innings, in which he also hit 49 boundaries to easily eclipse Jan's 24-year-old benchmark.
Nero joins just seven other Australian cricketers to have scored a triple century.
The West Australian hadn't actually played for Australia since 2018, after the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 derailed prior plans for a return to the crease.
The International Cricket Inclusion series has marked the first time international matches for blind, deaf and intellectual disability (ID) teams are being hosted in the same city.
World Record ! 🏆
Congratulation to Steffan Nero (Australian B3) for scoring 309* runs in 1st ODI against New Zealand & setting new World Record for highest individual score in ODIs. Earlier Masood Jan🇵🇰held the record of 262* runs vs South Africa in 1998
— Zeeshan Qayyum (@XeeshanQayyum) June 14, 2022
Speaking to the ABC after the match, Nero said much of his batting came down to instinct.
"There are times in an over where I'm just like, OK, I'm going to take this guy to town, hit him out of the park," he said.
"So, I think the ball just went into the right spot. It's one of my strengths, the reverse sweep. I play it all the time."
Steffan Nero's record knock powers Australia to victory
Incredibly, his knock against the Kiwis was his third consecutive century, having passed the mark with 113 of 46 balls and an unbeaten 101 in his previous two games.
For the series, Nero is averaging what feels close to a mathmatically impossible 523.
Contrary to what you might think, Nero said dealing with glare was arguably his biggest challenge on the pitch.
NEW WORLD RECORD!
Steffan Nero has played himself into the history books after notching a MASSIVE 309* from 140 balls in the Aus Blind team's ODI match against 🇳🇿
This was also Stef's 3rd consecutive century in the Inclusion Series!
#ICIS22 #ASportForAll pic.twitter.com/ElMpcPetgv
— Cricket NSW (@CricketNSW) June 14, 2022
"I imagine for anyone — including a fully sighted person — it's a big mental strain, but with vision impairment we have to expend a lot more energy trying to concentrate, especially with the ball moving around and the glare," he said.
"That's one thing I think a lot of people don't realise, just the mental aspect of straining your eyes for that period of time can be quite taxing."
Not done there, Nero then completed five run-outs as wicketkeeper in a thumping win over Australia's trans-Tasman rivals.
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