What’s the story?
Worcestershire batsman Ross Whiteley etched his name in the history books and joined an elite list of cricketers by hitting six sixes in an over in a NatWest Twety20 Blast match at Headingley on Sunday. The left-handed batsman struck Yorkshire’s left-arm spinner, Karl Carver, for six sixes in the 16th over of the innings.
“It was the right time in the game for me to go for it,” Whiteley said after the match, “It was all or nothing. Unfortunately for the bowler, it was a short boundary on the leg side. I had the mentality that I was going to go for it before I got in. I hit the first out of the screws and needed to keep going for the team, not for that achievement.”
“It’s something I never really thought I’d do in professional cricket,” added the 28-year-old.
Yorkshire coach Andrew Gales reckoned that the team captain, Tim Bresnan, had bowled Carver at the wrong stage of the innings. “I blame poor captaincy for that,” he said. “He shouldn’t have bowled him at that part of the game. I felt for Karl, he’s got a good record in T20 cricket and he’ll bounce back.”
In case you didn’t know…
West Indian legend Gary Sobers was the first player in first class cricket to hit six sixes in an over. In a County Championship match in Swansea in 1968, Sobers, playing for Nottinghamshire, absolutely demolished Glamorgan’s Malcolm Nash by hitting every ball out of the park.
In 1985, Ravi Shastri matched the feat in a Ranji Trophy match between Mumbai and Baroda. Herschelle Gibbs and Yuvraj Singh then proceeded to do the same in an ODI and in a T20I respectively. And, lastly, in 2013, Lancashire’s Jordan Clark achieved the feat against Yorkshire in Scarborough.
The heart of the matter
Whiteley went on to score 65 runs from just 26 balls to give his team a fighting chance in the match. However, Worcestershire fell short by 37 runs in the end. Earlier, powered by David Willey’s breathtaking knock of 118, which included a 34-run over off John Hastings, Yorkshire put up a mammoth 233/6 in their 20 overs.
In reply, Worcestershire were very much in the game until Whiteley was at the crease. His six sixes in the 16th had taken the score up to 173/4 but they still needed 61 runs in the final four overs. The Sheffield-born batsman’s dismissal, though, hindered their chances.
Whiteley conceded after the match that personal milestone was all well and good but that his team had lost the match was tough to digest.
It was indeed a spectacular show of devastating batsmanship from Whiteley. This is not a feat that is achieved every day and win or loss, Whiteley should be proud of it. A win, though, would have been the cherry on the top.