Cricket has always been a strange game. One minute, it can be a boring test match on a sunny day with no chance of any excitement. The other instant, a bowling change can whip up wickets faster than a blazing outfield. Often, a night watchman can successfully deny the opposition all the wickets they seem intent on taking. Other times, experienced batting maestro’s crumble like a house of cards, to register a meager batting total. All in all, cricket is an unpredictable game that often makes for interesting and unusual moments.
1. A 556 miles long six!
Do you know once, a bowler was hit for a six so long that the ball traveled the distance of 556 miles! Yes, you heard me correct, 556 miles! The secret to the stroke wasn’t a Herculean batsman though. Jimmy Sinclair was the batsman that lofted the ball out of the ground for a six. It just so happened that the ball landed on a train which was en route to Port Elizabeth and was recovered from there only.
2. Most ducks in an innings!
The amount of most ducks in an innings took place when Pakistan took on West Indies in Cape Town in 1993. Six of the Pakistani batsmen succumbed without scoring a single run hence, the team successfully registered six ducks. We aren’t exactly sure as to what total the Pakistani team displayed on the scoreboard at the end of the innings, but I can assure you, it wasn’t a mammoth one!
3. Gavaskar’s snail like innings!
There used to be a time when One Day Internationals used to be sixty overs an innings and Sunil Gavaskar it seems, was ever mindful of that. The legendary batsman once batted throughout the sixty overs and managed only a minute score of 36 runs. It was a 1075 match between England and India, in which the former beat the latter by a total of 203 runs. What else were you expecting?
4. A 14 ball over without any wides, no balls!
Yes, this is actually true! In a match between Barbados and British Guyana in 1946, a 14 ball over was bowled in which the bowler made no mistakes as regards to no balls and wides! During those days, an over meant eight deliveries instead of six, the extra six deliveries were availed by the batting side on account of the umpire’s mistake. Saying the match was poorly officiated, would be an understatement!
5. Sanath Jayasuriya a better spinner than Shane Warne?
Sanath Jayasuriya will always be remembered as the left arm batsman of the Sri Lankan cricket team, who used to loft sixes and drive fours with demoralizing aggression. His bowling used to disarm batsmen every now and then, but Chaminda Vaas spearheaded the Sri Lankan bowling attack as a specialist and not Jayasuriya. Shane Warne, in contrast, will be always remembered for decimating batsmen with his magical leg spin turn and deceiving googlies. A legendary bowler, Shane Warne was feared by batsmen around the world and was Australia’s trump card in the bowling lineup. However, a look at the stats tells us that Sanath picked up 323 wickets from 445 matches whereas Warne took 293 wickets from his 194 matches. Confusing much?
6. Most consecutive maiden overs
Indian bowler Bapu Nadkarni holds the record for bowling the most number of consecutive maiden overs. In 1963-64, in a test match against England at Madras, out of the 29 overs that he bowled, 26 were maiden overs! He had bowled a record twenty one consecutive maiden overs (131 dot balls in a row) in a 114 minute bowling spell. Some bowlers are assigned the role of taking wickets ina cricketing match whilst some are included in the team to dismiss batsmen. Which one Nadkarni was, seems obvious enough!
7. Most number of wickets
Wilfred Rhodes of England collected 4204 batsmen’s scalps whilst he played for Yorkshire. He also amassed 39,969 first class runs in first class cricket. Now that, is what we call an all-rounder!
8. Longest innings of all!Pakistan’s very own Hanif Muhammad, dubbed the Asian little master, once held onto his innings for 970 minutes (16 hours plus) and battled the fiercely talented West Indian bowling attack. For his time, he made a worthy 337 runs not out.
9. Saaed Ajmal’s strange fact
The spin wizard hasn’t won a man of the match award for Pakistan in all the 110 ODIs he has played for the nation! Ajmal has collected 182 wickets but not been awarded the man of the match award ever. It seems, Ajmal isn’t the man after all.
10. Youngest test cricketers
The youngest was our very own Hasan Raza, who played against Zimbabwe at Faisalabad when he was only 14 years and 277 days old. Another Pakistani, Mushtaq Muhamamd was 15 years and 124 days old when he debuted in a match. Muhammad Sharif from Bangladesh also made his debut as a young chap when he was 15 years and 189 days old. Oddly enough, all three cricketers have been batsmen!
Here are ten cricketing facts for you to gawk at and scratch your head figuring them out! Who knows, some day you might make a bizarre cricketing record yourself!