Raj, Nash tell how to get over six sixes humiliation

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2007, 5:17 [IST]
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Bassetterre (St Kitts):Watching the ball disappear over the boundary ropes six times in an over is an experience which breeds a philosophic acceptance of fate in the unfortunate bowler.

Certainly Malcolm Nash, Tilak Raj and now Daan van Bunge -- the only three men to experience it in elite cricket -- will never be allowed to forget their supporting roles in one of the rarer sporting feats.

On Friday the Dutchman van Bunge, was struck for six sixes in an over by South African Herschelle Gibbs in a World Cup Group A match at Warner Park, a first in one-day international cricket.

Twenty-two years ago, all-rounder Ravi Shastri deposited Tilak Raj for six sixes in an Indian domestic match while the most famous example remains Garfield Sobers's six in a row off Nash for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan in 1968.

Gibbs took full advantage of the powerful modern bats, which are making life particularly hard for spin bowlers, and the short boundaries to send the first ball from Bunge over long-on.

The second and third sailed over long-off, the fourth over deep mid-wicket, the fifth over wide long-on and the sixth over deep mid-wicket.

"After the third one I told him to try to bowl a quicker delivery, and he said, 'I just did'," Dutch captain Luuk van Troost told a news conference. "He had some flashbacks, he started laughing when he was sitting in the dressing-room.

On Saturday, Tilak Raj sympathised with van Bunge.

"It will feel bad," Tilak Raj told Reuters. "I felt terrible back then. All I can say is that it's destiny."

Tilak Raj said he had prayed to God before delivering the last ball, which Shastri still smashed for a straight six.

"I am a relieved man now, someone else has joined me after over 20 years," he said.

Tilak Raj, now 47, an occasional spinner, was playing his first game for Baroda after moving from Delhi. Primarily a batsman, he had already scored 70 in his debut.

Nash, who was bowling for Glamorgan against Nottinghamshire in a 1968 English county match, was a left-arm medium-pacer who was indulging in a short-lived experiment with spin.

"I don't reflect on it ever as a bad thing," he told the Observer newspaper. "The moment, of course, is with Gary Sobers and not much to do with me. I had a long career and that was just a moment."

Sobers's feat was recorded on a BBC film clip which has been retrieved more than 17,000 times on Youtube Web site. His final six soared out of the ground into St Helens Road.

Sobers was typically dismissive of a record he considers to have little enduring significance.

"It makes me feel that that's the only thing I've done in the history of cricket," he said in an interview with a UK magazine

"It wasn't really good cricket, six sixes are not good cricket ... it's not the kind of cricket you want to teach youngsters.


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