The biggest batting rampages in cricket
It was Kieron Pollard’s lusty hitting that brought him on the radar of T20 franchises.
The turning point of his career came during the 2009 Champions League T20 in India where, while representing Trinidad and Tobago, his power hitting had IPL franchises fighting for him in the 2010 auctions where Mumbai Indians paid $750,000 to make him the joint-biggest buy.
On Wednesday, the 33-year-old showed that he hasn’t lost any of his power hitting abilities as he tore into Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya, hitting six sixes in an over in the first T20 at Antigua and becoming only the third cricketer to achieve that feat in international cricket. The first one to do so was Herschelle Gibbs in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean against the Netherlands and then Yuvraj Singh against England at the 2007 World T20 in South Africa.
Pollard now has 712 sixes in T20 cricket, second only to his compatriot Chris Gayle, who has 1008 to his name.
Here are some other examples of batting rampages over the years
Sir Garfield Sobers
August 31, 1968
Ground: St Helen’s, Swansea
The West Indies great became the first player to hit six sixes in an over in first class cricket while playing for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan during the county championship. The bowler to face the left-hander’s wrath was Welsh left-armer Malcolm Nash. Sobers’ hit five balls clean over the ropes. But one of his sixes was first caught at long off—before the fielder toppled over the rope with the ball in hand.
A medium-fast bowler, Nash, impressed by the success of Derek Underwood, was experimenting with spin bowling. He was later quoted as saying: “Sobers came along and quickly ended my slow-bowling career. It was a pretty short experiment.”
January 10, 1985
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
The current India coach was known to be a batsman with solid defence during his playing days. But during the second innings of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy match against Baroda, he went berserk, hitting left-arm spinner Tilak Raj for six sixes in an over. He became only the second batsmen after Sobers to do so in FC cricket.
Shastri was batting on 147 when Raj came on to bowl and jumped to 183 by the time the over was finished. He went on to score 200 of 123 balls which remains his fastest knock in FC. Just ten days before this feat, Shastri had scored a painstaking 111 off 357 balls against England at Eden Gardens.
March 16, 2007
Venue: Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts
Gibbs, coming into bat at No 4, started cautiously, before becoming the first player in international cricket to hit six sixes in an over.
It was a ODI World Cup group game against minnows Netherlands and the bowler to be slayed was leggie Daan van Bunge. Gibbs chose the 30th over of the innings to go into overdrive.
He danced down the track to send the first ball over long on. The second and third went over long off—no fancy footwork, just stand and deliver.
Gibbs was in no mood to stop thereafter. “After the first three I thought I may be in with chance to do it," he said later. He throttled ahead and the fourth six was slapped over deep mid-wicket. The fifth was heaved over wide long-off before the last and record one over long-off. van Bunge briefly retired from cricket after the World Cup, before returning to the game the next year.
September 19, 2007
Venue: Kingsmead, Durban
An argument with Andrew Flintoff had Singh fuming; he took the anger out on Stuart Broad’s bowling.
“He said: ‘I am gonna cut your throat off’ and then I replied saying ‘you see this bat in my hand?’ I remember I was so angry when I hit Broadie for six sixes,” recalled Singh recently during a chat on Instagram with Kevin Pietersen.
Singh’s pyrotechnics at the 2007 World T20 remains one of the finest moments of world cricket. Singh launched the first ball over cow corner, the second was measured at just over 100 metres and sailed over backward square leg. The third and fourth zoomed over cover and point while the fifth one flew over midwicket. The record hit landed in the stands at long-on. Yuvraj's 12-ball half-century is still a record in international cricket across formats.
April 3, 2016
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
“Carlos Brathwaite. Remember the name,” exclaimed an ecstatic Ian Bishop in the commentary box as West Indies beat England in the final of the 2016 World T20.
The man of the moment was Brathwaite. The tall and well-built Barbadian didn’t hit six sixes in an over like the ones mentioned above but he did play one of the most significant innings his career on this day. Needing 19 runs to win off the final six deliveries, Brathwaite hit Ben Stokes for four sixes to help West Indies clinch their second World T20 title.
April 23, 2013
Venue: Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
The 'King of Sixes' many have not his six in six in his career but he has demolished the confidence of many bowlers around the world.
One such innings was his unbeaten 66-ball 175 knock for Royal Challengers Bangalore against the now defunct Pune Warriors during the 2013 IPL. Royal Challengers posted 263/5, restricted Warriors for to 133/9 and won by 130 runs.
During the knock Gayle broke many records. He smashed the fastest century in the format—off 30 balls, scored the highest individual T20 score (175*), hit the most sixes in a T20 innings (17, which he broke in 2017 during the Bangladesh Premier League with 18) and helped Royal Challengers Bangalore reach the highest total at that time in T20 cricket (now the fourth highest).
“I'm privileged that I watched it here today live. All the people who came to the stadium today also should feel honoured that they got to see one of the best innings ever," RCB skipper Virak Kohli said after the match.