Cricket is as much a numbers game as it is a team sport. While there have been successful teams like Clive Lloyd’s West Indies and Ricky Ponting’s Australia, there have also been players like Sachin Tendulkar and Muttiah Muralitharan who revolutionised the game.
A player might ooze talent but his numbers might not be good enough to help him earn a place in the starting eleven. A prime example of this is Sanju Samson. The difference between him being on the fringes and breaking open the national door is his first-class average of 37.64.
While it’s not that bad a number, the cricketing fraternity tends to judge the calibre of a player on the basis on his\her numbers. On the flip side, certain numbers also leave an indelible impact on the game and in the personal record of that particular player.
We now take a look at 5 instances of players completing a milestone by hitting either a boundary or a six.
5. Virender Sehwag v Pakistan (2004)
Virender Sehwag went into the record books by becoming the first Indian to hit a triple century in international cricket as he smashed 309 against Pakistan in Multan in 2004. But, he created an instant impact when he hit Saqlain Mushtaq over deep mid-wicket to become the first and only Test batsman to hit a six to complete 300 runs.
The ball was tossed up around the off stump, no doubt. But, it was a fearless move to come down the track and clear the boundaries in a fair way. Virender Sehwag hit 39 boundaries and 6 maximums en route his 309 off 375 balls, thus earning the title ‘Sultan of Multan’.
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4. MS Dhoni v Sri Lanka (2011)
One of the iconic images in Indian cricket is MS Dhoni hitting the ball into the stands of the Wankhede Stadium to win India their second World Cup. The equation had come down to 4 off 11 balls as Nuwan Kulasekara pitched it up only to see the Indian captain smash it over long-on.
It was the perfect example of a captain leading from the front as India were struggling on 114 for 3, chasing 275 for victory. MS Dhoni – who had struggled for form throughout the tournament – took the attack to Sri Lanka to finish on an unbeaten 91 off 79 balls.
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3. Ajinkya Rahane v RCB (IPL 2012)
Rajasthan Royals batsman Ajinkya Rahane scripted history as he became the first and only batsman to hit 6 fours in an over in the IPL in 2012. Playing against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rahane smashed left-arm pacer Sreenath Aravind for 24 runs in the 14th over with the last one coming with a late cut down to third man.
Incidentally, such was the momentum gained from that over that Ajinkya Rahane went on to complete his maiden IPL hundred. He scored a match-winning 103 not out off 60 deliveries to power RR to 195 for 2 before RCB bundled out for 136.
2. Chris Gayle v Bangladesh (2012)
Bangladesh off-spinner Sohag Gazi had an eventful start to his Test career as Chris Gayle smashed a six off his first ball. However, it was not just Gazi’s first ball, but it was also the first ball of the 2-match series.
The ball landed around middle and off as Chris Gayle lofted it straight over Gazi’s head for a huge six to remain the first and only batsman to hit the first ball of a Test for a six. Notably, he picked 18 runs off that over before perishing to Gazi for a 17-ball 24.
1. Tillakaratne Dilshan v Australia (2015)
Tillakaratne Dilshan created history by becoming the first batsman to hit 6 boundaries in an over in ODI cricket. The knock came at the 2015 World Cup, so it remains a Cup record as well.
Set a daunting total of 377 in Sydney, Sri Lanka lost Lahiru Thirimanne early in the run-chase. Tillakaratne Dilshan then took the attack to Mitchell Johnson in the sixth over as he hit all 6 deliveries to the fence – the last one came as Dilshan manoeuvred the crease, opened the face of the bat and timed the ball through the covers.Published 09 Nov 2020, 20:35 IST