Cricket has always been about facts, though the sentimental aspects can’t completely be overruled. From the 1880s until now, the sport has had some incredible numbers. From Sachin Tendulkar’s 100 international centuries to Shoaib Akhtar’s fastest deliveries, some facts continue to astonish the fans.
With Test cricket, ODI cricket and T20 cricket emerging, the entertainment factor has gone up. As time has passed by, facts and figures have gained significance. It throws light into how a team or a player performs and they also help the cricketers in team selections.
But over the time period, some numbers and incidents have furrowed eyebrows. It would have been hard to comprehend the moments had they not happened. But eventually they took place and caught a lot of eyeballs.
In the article, let’s take a look at five surprisingly true cricket facts: –
1. Rahul Dravid’s three sixes on the trot
Rahul Dravid was someone, who could wear a bowler down, playing defensive shots and leaving balls outside the off-stump tirelessly. The Wall of Indian cricket hardly resorted to aerial strokes and it can be comprehended by the fact that he hit only 66 sixes in his 508 matches at the highest level.
He used to put a prize tag on his wicket and hardly went for strokes that could lead to his dismissal. But on his maiden T20I, which also happens to be his only game in the format, he decided to express himself.
In the 11th over of the match against England at the Old Trafford in Manchester, Dravid, quite astonishingly, smashed Samit Patel for three sixes on the trot. The now 47-year-old peppered the leg-side boundary and ended up scoring 31 runs off 21 balls at a handsome strike-rate of 147.61.
2. Adam Gilchrist’s squash-ball trick
In the 2007 World Cup final, Adam Gilchrist picked the bones out of Sri Lanka at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. The southpaw smashed 149 off 104 balls, helping his team post 281 in 38 overs in a rain-curtailed encounter. That he managed to smash 13 fours and eight colossal sixes caught the limelight.
But then, he used a trick, which helped him generate more force in his fierce stroke-play. The left-hander tucked a squash ball inside his left glove and he showed it off after he reached the century. The ball helped him to increase the impulse, increasing the force on the cricket ball.
Later he said that he was using it after advice from his batting coach in Perth. In the final, his 172-run stand for the opening wicket laid the platform for Australia’s third World Cup victory on the trot.
3. Mohammad Sami’s 17-ball over
Mohammad Sami generated serious pace during his playing days, but he was also erratic at times. The speedster sprayed the leather around and tended to leak quite a few runs. Back in 2004 against Bangladesh during the Asia Cup in Colombo, the fast bowler bowled an over consisting of as many as 17 balls.
In the third over of the Tigers’ innings, Sami gave away seven wides and four no-balls. Had the concept of free-hit existed then, the over would have turned into a scarier one for him. From 6/1 after two overs, Bangladesh went to 28/1, taking 22 runs off the over.
Apart from the extras, Sami also conceded a couple of fours. Overall, he didn’t have the worst of days though. In 8.2 overs, he picked up Mohammad Ashraful and Khaled Mashud’s wicket and bowled two maidens.
4. Bangladesh bowler concedes 92 off four balls
Domestic cricket in Bangladesh has often been said to be marred with match-fixing and other scandals. The umpires were also openly accused once by the players for the suspicious acts. Back in May 2017, a bowler by the name of Sujon Mahmud gave away 92 runs off a mere four balls.
Playing for the Lalmatia Club in a 50-over match, his over helped Axiom Cricketers, chase down 88. He was said to have done it in protest of umpiring decisions. Later the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) found him guilty and handed him a 10-year-ban.
Lalmatia Club was also barred from the competition with the coach, captain and manager being slapped with five-year bans from the Dhaka Second League Division. Sujon bowled 13 wides and three no-balls, all of which went for fours.
5. South Africa vs Australia- All four innings of a Test on the same day
In November 2011, Australia and South Africa were involved in a Test that lasted only 167.5 overs at the Newlands in Cape Town. It translates to less than two days’ play. However, due to rain, only 55 overs took place on the opening day and the game went into the third day.
On the second day, all of four innings were played. To start with, the Aussies played 20 overs, being bowled out for 284. Then it took only 42.3 overs for the next two innings to finish. The Proteas and Australia were shot out for paltry 96 and 47 runs respectively.
In the end, the home team was set with a target of 236, which seemed daunting in the fourth innings going by the previous three innings. But skipper Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla scored tons and made sure that South Africa won the game by eight wickets.
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