Garfield Sober’s Feat: 6 Sixes in 6 Balls

Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers is a former cricketer who played for the West Indies from the mid 1950’s to the mid 1970’s.  He is widely considered as the greatest all-rounder of all time and one of the best cricketers overall. Sobers was a left hander who was capable of brilliance both with the ball and the bat. He could play every shot in the batting playbook and his versatility as a bowler allowed him to bowl both spin as well as medium-fast. The West Indian legend was also a very talented fielder, especially in and around the wicket.

One of Sober’s most impressive achievements was that he was the first man to hit six sixes in an over. This video shows the then 32 year old playing for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan at St. Helen’s in Swansea. The bowler was Malcolm Nash, a 23-year-old left-arm seamer who was experimenting with spin bowling. Needless to say, the experiment went very badly indeed.

As can be seen in the video:

  • The first two deliveries were walloped over midwicket with power.
  • Nash responded by bowling the third delivery wider to the off but Sobers simply hit it straighter over long-on, trouncing the ball with such force that he lifted his right leg off the ground as he connected, despite almost no foot movement.
  • The fourth delivery was straighter but received the same treatment as the three bowled before. Sobers pulled the ball over backward square leg and sent it flying for a maximum.
  • The fifth delivery was again straight and pitched up, and once more Sobers crashed it back over the head of Nash. Sober didn’t hit the ball as cleanly as before though, and Roger Davis, back-pedaling at long-off, caught the ball. However, fortune favored the brave and Davis landed on the boundary rope while jumping backwards to take the catch. Sober’s would take full advantage of the lucky reprieve and complete a perfect over.
  • With all the fielders on the boundary line, Nash bowled a quicker delivery. Sober’s once again timed his shot magnificently well and sent the crowd into raptures with a booming six which took the ball out of the ground.

This is one of the many magnificent accomplishments of the cricketing great and it would take seventeen years for someone to repeat it again. In 1984–85, Indian batsman Ravi Shastri equalled the record by scoring six sixes in an over while playing for Bombay versus Baroda. Others have also now performed the same feat. However, Sober’s phenomenal six sixes and being the first to achieve this feat will forever be the most famous ones.

 

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