South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs created history at Basseterre in St Kitts last night, becoming the first player in international cricket to slam six sixes in an over against minnows Holland in the World Cup. The bowler at the receiving end was Daan van Bunge.
Sir Garfield Sobers and Ravi Shastri had achieved the feat earlier in first-class cricket, but this was the first time it had been accomplished in an international match, much less the World Cup. Van Bunge’s figures read 4-0-56-0.
In a match that rained records, Gibbs scored 72 off 40 balls, half those runs coming in one over. Mark Boucher hit the fastest World Cup 50, beating Brian Lara‘s. And South Africa ended up with 353 for 3 off 40 overs, with a world record 18 sixes, the most in a match, overtaking the 15 hit by Sri Lanka in the 1996 World Cup against Kenya.
The last 11 overs yielded 175 runs, and reopened fresh questions over the participation of teams like The Netherlands in the World Cup. “The South Africans draw much of their heritage from the Dutch, and this is what they give them in return,” the English commentator Mark Nicholas guffawed in the end, tongue in cheek.