Scoring 6 consecutive sixes is an impressive and rare achievement in any form of cricket. When Yuvraj Singh smashedStuart Broad to all corners of the park and beyond in Kingsmead in the Super Eights of the Twenty20 World Cup, he became only the fourth batsman in the history of the game to register 36 runs in an over, following in the footsteps of Gary Sobers, Ravi Shastri and Herschelle Gibbs. Sobers and Shastri did it in first class cricket, whilst Gibbs and Yuvraj achieved it in ODIs and Twenty20s respectively.
Whilst comparing achievements from dissimilar eras is always hard – try arguing that Bradman is not the greatest cricketer of all time because he didn’t play in the professional era – in this case one of the feats excites and exceeds the others in its sheer class and graceful strokeplay.
Garfield Sobers – 6 Sixes in an over for Nottinghamshire vs Glamorgan , 1968 Swansea
Sobers, the then captain of Nottinghamshire, became the first ever batsman to hit six sixes in a single over of six consecutive balls in first-class cricket. Five of the sixes were beautifully clean strikes with a the full swing of the bat, but the record itself was only achieved with an enormous stroke of luck. Having hit four consecutive fours he got under a lofted drive that only made it past the ropes by some schoolboy fielding from Roger Davis palming it over the bar for 6.
The unlucky victim of his unchecked aggression was slow left arm bowler Malcolm Nash. At first glance from the video the bowling of Nash looks somewhat tame. But Sobers feat should not be devalued especially when you consider Nash’s impressive first class record – just under 1000 first class victims at a shade over an average of 25.
Herschelle Gibbs Slogs 6 Sixes in an over for South Africa vs the Netherlands, World Cup ODI, Warner Park, 2007
Elegance, gracefullness, cultivated are three words that I would often associate with Herschelle Gibb’s batting. On this occasion they could not be less fitting as Gibbs bludgeons the unfortunate Dan van Bunge in agricultural fashion for 6 consecutive sixes. The Netherlands show their faces every four years on the world cricket scene and Gibbs could not have highlighted their status as perennial whipping boys any better.
Ravi Shastri – 6 Sixes in an over for Bombay vs Baroda 1985
Video footage of this momentous Gary Sobers equalling achievement has been very hard to come by. The unfortunate bowler in this case was left arm spinner Tilak Raj and Shastri went on to score 200 not out the process.
(NOTE: listen very carefully to the commentary of Yuvraj’s footage and Ravi might get onto this video reel after all )
Yuvraj Singh – 6 Sixes in an over for India vs England in the Twenty20 World Cup, Kingsmead 2007
Yuvraj Singh’s feat overshadows everything that has gone before it in breathtaking fashion. The increasingly notable feature of batsman clearing away their front foot and having a free flowing swing of the blade in the shorter form of the game could not have been more superbly illustrated. Impeccable timing, proper cricket shots and hefty, hefty blows. It could be an advertisement for the modern game.
Spare a thought for Stuart Broad the unfortunate bowler. To be dealt with so savagely at the start of an international career then requires a lot of character to perform once more in the future. A couple of questions have to be asked though which could have changed the course of the events – Why did Flintoff have such heated words with Yuvraj before the over? Why didn’t Broad throw in the short ball if the yorker was misfiring?
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