A six lifts our mind, body and spirit


By Kersi Meher-Homji

A six takes you right into the game, breaking all barriers between players and spectators. It was always a thing of beauty and joy forever but IPL in India and BBL in Australia have made it a household name.

How many batsmen have hit six sixes in an over?

Not one at Test level but it has happened twice in first-class matches, once in a One Day International (ODI) and once in a Twenty20 International (T20I).

And did you know that two of these four tall-hitting heroes are Indians?

Kersi Meher-Homji - Yuvraj Six sixers

India’s  Yuvraj Singh  is the  only  batsman to hit six sixes in an over in a  T20I. That was for India against England in the 2007 World T20 in Durban. And the bowler he smashed for six sixes was the accurate fast bowler Stuart Broad.





Wow, 36 runs in one over! In all Yuvraj scored 58 off 16 balls hitting 7 sixes and 3 fours as India won by 18 runs. India went on to lift the Cup a week later (24 September) by defeating Pakistan by five runs.


South Africa’s  Herschelle Gibbs  is the only one to hit six sixes in an over in an  ODI. This was in the 2007 World Cup match against Netherland at Basseterre, St Kitts in West Indies on 16 March. The bowler to suffer this “pain” was DLS van Bunge.

Gibbs became the first cricketer to hit six sixes in an over in an international match. This was six months before Yuvraj’s sixes spree in Durban.


Now to  first-class cricket  and  Sir Garry Sobers  who is universally acclaimed as the greatest all-rounder ever. The West Indian legend holds many records in Test and first-class cricket. He became the first cricketer to hit six sixes in an over in a first-class match.

That was way back on 31 August 1968 for Nottingham against Glamorgan in Swansea, England, when he sent bowler Malcolm Nash flying over the boundary line six times in six deliveries. But there is a sting in this tale.

Sobers hit the first four balls for sixes but was “caught” by Roger Davis in the deep and Sobers started walking back to the pavilion. But the umpire called him back. The reason? The impact forced fielder Davis to fall back to beyond the boundary line. The crowd chanted, “six, six” and umpire John Langridge signalled a six.

Sobers returned and hit the sixth delivery over the wall and into a road outside. It was huge, HUGE! The ball was lost and was found only the next day.

Kersi - Ravi Shastri

Seventeen years later India’s  Ravi Shastri  repeated this feat. This was for Mumbai v. Baroda in Mumbai on 10 January 1985. In all he hit 13 sixes and 13 fours in his unbeaten 200 off 123 balls to record the then fastest double century in first-class cricket.

This included six sixes in an over from Tilak Raj, a fastish spinner.

“Only after hitting the fourth six did I think of emulating Sobers’ feat”, Shastri told me.

A week ago he had scored a painfully slow century against England in the Kolkata Test. When asked as to how his barrackers reacted to his six-bonanza, he smiled and said, “They thought it was the Eighth Wonder of the World!”

Sixes in Test cricket

As stated in the beginning, no batsman has hit six sixes in an over in Test matches. Pakistan’s  Shahid Afridi  and South Africa’s  AB de Villiers  came close, hitting sixes off the  first four  balls.

Afridi hit 6,6,6,6,2 and 1 off India’s Harbhajan Singh in the 2005-06 Lahore Test.

More recently AB de Villiers skied 6,6,6,6 and 1 off Australia’s Andrew McDonald in the 2008-09 Cape Town Test.

India’s  Kapil Dev  struck four successive sixes off England’s off-spinner Eddie Hemmings in the 1990 Lord’s Test. He became the first player to hit four sixes in succession in a Test. In doing so he saved India from a follow-on.

Pakistan’s  Wasim Akram  holds the record of hitting most sixes, 12, in a Test innings. This was against Zimbabwe in the 1996-97 Sheikhupura Test.

Sixes in minor cricket

At least three world records were shattered in minor cricket this January; the highest individual innings (1009 not out by Pranav Dhanawade, a 15-year-old cricketer from Mumbai), highest total of 3 declared for 1465 and highest margin of victory by an innings and 1382 runs. Another milestone was that Pranav’s knock, which spanned almost seven hours, included 129 fours and  59 sixes. Can you believe it, 59 sixes in an innings?!

Kersi - bill howell

If this appears incredible, listen to this.  Bill Howell  was a mighty six-smasher from NSW. When representing NSW against MCC on the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) way back in 1897-98, he scored 95 runs in 66 minutes. Described  The Argus  magazine of 1954, “We could not see where one of his sixes landed but suddenly there was a blood-curdling roar and one of the spectators remarked: ”˜By cripes, Old Bill has hit a lion in the zoo.’ ”

In 1890s, the Zoo was located at Moore Park, close to the SCG!

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