It may have been more than ten years since Yuvraj Singh plundered six successive sixes off a Stuart Broad over during a 2007 World T20 clash in Durban. Yet, his memorable feat continues to live in the memory of each and every soul who were fortunate enough to witness the astonishing performance. In a venue close to where the Indian star etched his name in the record books, David Miller came within one shot of replicating the proverbial full monty.
During the second T20I against Bangladesh at the Senwes Park in Potchefstroom, the South African dynamo hammered five consecutive sixes from the first five deliveries of the penultimate over of the innings. The bowler, who received the brutal treatment, was medium pacer Mohammad Saifuddin.
When the packed crowd waited with bated breath for the unthinkable, the event ended in a bit of anti-climax as Miller could only manage only a single in the last delivery of the over. Even though he did not quite complete the entire sequence of six sixes, the left-hander had treated the spectators to a delightful display of power-hitting.
In the next over, Miller created history by cruising to the fastest century in T20Is. In sharp contrast to previous record-holder and fellow countryman Richard Levi who brought up three figures in 45 balls, the southpaw needed just 35 deliveries to breach the 100-run mark.
Miller puts on a freakish six-hitting exhibition
Miller had not yet got off the mark when he gloved a searing short ball from Rubel Hossain. However, the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim failed to complete the catch despite putting in an outstretched dive. Bangladesh missed a massive opportunity to see the back of the attacking batsman as early as in the eleventh over of the innings.
A couple of boundaries off Taskin Ahmed enabled Miller to kick start his innings. The left-hander added 25 runs off his first 16 deliveries before Rubel's wayward bowling helped him unleash his inner self. The fast bowler paid the price for missing the block-hole by conceding two sixes as well as a four in three legitimate deliveries.
By the time Saifuddin came on to deliver that fateful over, Miller had already brought up his half-century and was desperately baying for blood. The 20-year old all-rounder, who was playing his fifth international game across formats, appeared clueless regarding the lengths to bowl during the death overs.
It was all the more glaring because the seamer was in the middle of a productive spell. From his first three overs, he had picked up two wickets and conceded just 22 runs. When he should have been aiming for the block-hole, the right-armer attempted a few variations and ended up playing into the southpaw's strengths. Here's how the penultimate over unfolded.
18.1 - 6 - Miller quickly latched on to a slower one from Saifuddin and deposited the ball over the long-on boundary.
18.2 - 6 - The medium pacer ventured into the batsman's stronghold by unfurling a full delivery outside the off-stump. Miller responded with a delectable inside-out aerial drive over cover and the ball sailed past the fence.
18.3 - 6 - The bowler's inexperience showed as he tried to steer clear from Miller's arc. But he only ended up overcompensating in line and strayed into the pads. The left-hander duly scooped up the gift with a nonchalant flick.
18.4 - 6 - In what was almost a repeat of the previous delivery, the seamer yet again neared the batsman's pads. The southpaw calmly collected another maximum without assaulting the ball. Instead, he relied on his sublime timing.
18.5 - 6 - Clearly under the pump, Saifuddin came up with a short ball which sat up nicely for the batsman to heave it through the leg-side. As soon as the ball reached the crowd, palpable excitement began to reverberate around the arena in anticipation of the last ball.
18.6 - 1 - Miller tried to outsmart the bowler by going down on one knee. But the youngster was up to it this time around. He deliberately delivered a full ball away from the batsman who could only drill the ball along the turf.
Despite missing the chance to replicate Yuvraj's feat, Miller smashed consecutive boundaries off the first two balls of the final over to set himself up for another record. He obliterated the previous mark of Levi by reaching three figures in ten lesser balls than his compatriot. While South Africa motored to 224, Bangladesh left themselves with the prospect of facing their seventh loss in as many matches on the tour.