In 1968, Gary Sobers propelled himself into the history books by clobbering six sixes in an over in a First Class match. MA Nash got himself in the record books for all the wrong reasons by being the hapless bowler in that county match in England.
Ravi Shastri equalled this feat in the 1984-85 Ranji season. Then after some decades, Yuvraj Singh did it in International T20s and that too in a World Cup in 2007. He is the only person to do so against a Test playing nation. Around the same time Herschelle Gibbs also achieved the same feat in ODIs against Netherlands.
Now IPL also seems inching towards a 36-run over and it seems just a matter of time. Three overs in IPL5 have brought bowlers to the brink.
In the match versus Kings XI Punjab, it all seemed over for Mumbai Indians when they needed 32 runs off 12 balls. But Ambatu Rayadu and Robin Peterson let loose against Piyush Chawla and plundered 27 runs in the 19th over and MI eventually won.
This was a mirror image off a match that had taken place between RCB and CSK. CSK required 43 runs from 12 balls. This time Albie Morkel went berserk and single-handedly hit three 6s and 2 4s in the 19th over as part-timer Virat Kohli conceded 28 runs to hand CSK the match.
Spinners by and large have been economical at the beginning and the middle, so captains will now think twice before using them at the death.
Of course these two mad overs are still not the biggest overs of the season. That honour goes to Chris “Storm” Gayle. In that match, PWI had put a very competitive 182 on the board. At one stage RCB needed a tough 107 runs from 48 balls. Gayle plundered 5 straight 6s off Rahul Sharma and suddenly the equation became 76 off 42.
31 runs were scored in that over and had Gayle taken strike from the first ball, it could well have been 36!
RCB eventually won, but not before a huge final over where 24 runs were hit all thanks to the hard hitting off AB de Villiers. Even that over wasn’t unique. Orange Cap Ajinkya Rahane has also hit six fours in an over for an identical tally.
Too close to call
IPL 2012 is turning out to be an exciting “Too close to call” contest. The top 8 teams have won at least 3 matches each. That means they are all in contention for the top 4 slots. Only Deccan Chargers has languished behind in the race and its chances of qualification are a near impossibility. (Perhaps they shouldn’t have sacked Adam Gilchrist in the first place!)
This is after the first half of the tournament. Now there will be immense pressure on all teams in the second half. The momentum has been known to come and go with all the teams. That means that three straight losses will see a team on the brink of being eliminated, while three straight wins will see a team almost make it to the Top 4.
This is where teams like CSK, which thrive on difficult conditions, have a chance to come out on top. All the captains will face a great pressure and things are really hotting up.
Dhoni the only constant
While all the franchisees have been playing musical chairs with their captains, MS Dhoni of the Chennai Super Kings is the only constant across all five IPLs.
RCB has moved on from Rahul Dravid to Daniel Vettori. Deccan Chargers have dumped Adam Gilchrist and pinned their fortunes on Kumar Sangakkara and seem to be suffering for that move. KKR let go of Sourav Ganguly and are doing much better under the likes of Gautam Gambhir. Ganguly himself has moved on to PWI and so far seems to be lucky for them.
Yuvraj Singh moved from KXIP to PWI and finally finds himself out of the IPL and he is recovering from lung cancer.
Sachin Tendulkar let go off his MI captaincy and handed it over to Harbhajan Singh.
Delhi Daredevils moved from Virender Sehwag to Gambhir and back to Sehwag. The break seems to have done Sehwag good and he has taken his team to the top of the table thanks to a blistering 48 ball 87 and he is a real threat for the remainder of the tournament.
Rajasthan Royals have moved from one retiree to another when Rahul Dravid took over from Shane Warne. The interesting part is that leaving Sehwag, no local talent is captain of an IPL franchise. Outsiders have taken over.
The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs at http://sunilrajguru.com/