Kieron Pollard is one of the greatest players in limited-overs cricket. That has hardly ever been in doubt. But the West Indies star made sure his name will be etched in a group that will unlikely be forgotten, for a feat that arguably every human being who has ever held a cricket bat in hand dreams about: hitting six sixes in an over.
The West Indies captain joined South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs (March 2007, ICC Men’s ODI World Cup against Netherlands) and India’s Yuvraj Singh (September 2007, ICC Men’s World T20 against England) as the only men to have achieved the feat in international cricket when he teed off against Sri Lanka in the first T20I on Thursday.
The unfortunate bowler at the receiving end was Akila Dananjaya. It is a cruel twist of fate because until that point, he was having a night to remember. In just his previous over, the Sri Lankan spinner had claimed a hat-trick of wickets.
Pollard was eventually out for 38 off 11 balls as the West Indies chased 132 to win at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, reaching their target in the 14th over when Jason Holder clobbered his side’s 13th six.
“I felt I could hit six sixes after the third one,” said 33-year-old Pollard according to AFP.
“Once I had five sixes I knew I had the bowler on the back foot. He was going around the wicket and it was difficult for him. I just told myself: ‘Go for it’.”
Here’s the full list of batsmen who have hit six sixes in one over of top level cricket.
The night of September 19, 2007, will forever be special for Indian cricket fans as Yuvraj Singh hitting Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over still probably feels like it just happened yesterday. That it came during the course of a World T20 win made it even more iconic in addition to the fact that Yuvraj scored a 12-ball half century that still remains the mark to beat in the shortest format.
“I think Freddie bowled two good balls and he bowled a yorker which I managed to hit for a boundary. Then he told me that this was a dash-dash shot, he got pretty elaborate. Then he said I am gonna cut your throat off,” Yuvraj recalled with a laugh during an Instagram Live chat with former English cricketer Kevin Pietersen.
“I replied saying you see this bat in my hand? You know where I am gonna hit you with this bat? Then I remember I was so angry when I hit Broadie for six sixes, the first look I gave was to Dimitri Mascarenhas and then the second look to Freddie,” he added.
Incidentally, Mascarenhas had hit Yuvraj Singh for five sixes in a single over during a series in England earlier that year and it had deeply hurt the Indian all-rounder.
Herschelle Gibbs had an eventful career on and off the cricket field. In World Cup cricket, his dropped catch in the match against Australia in 1999 remains a part of cricketing folklore that every chance missed with a trophy on the line is equated to his moment of madness.
But he will also have the record against his name for being the first man in history to hit six sixes in an over of international cricket. Gibbs made history against Dan van Bunge of Netherlands during a match in the 2007 World Cup.
“After the fourth one, I thought it could be on. I thought about using my feet and coming down the pitch, but then I changed my mind and decided to stay in the crease. The idea was for me to have another two goes at it [the record] and luckily I didn’t miscue any of them, so it was quite nice,” Gibbs said later.