Home > Features > Facts and figures >

Mark Craig and other batsmen who smashed six off first ball faced in an innings

Mark Craig gave a glimpse of his batting skills by smashing the first ball he faced for a six
Mark Craig (center) gave a glimpse of his batting skills by smashing the first ball he faced for a six. Photo Courtesy: Black Caps Twitter Account

Apart from having an all-round excellent debut with the ball, Mark Craig achieved the unique feat of hitting the very first ball he faced in international cricket for a six. Shiamak Unwalla looks at some of the players who have hit sixes, while facing up to their first ball in Tests.

While it is not unheard of for batsmen to hit sixes in Test cricket, it is rather uncommon to see as many sixes hit in a Test match as there would be in a Twenty20 (T20). In a format, where there is usually enough time to settle in, most batsmen prefer to play conventional cricket.

However, every once in a while due to either the match situation, a rush of blood or supreme confidence, a batsman will look to go big right from the start. Below is a list of the innings in which a batsman has hit his first ball for a six. Bear in mind, these are innings where a batsman had hit the first ball he faced for six. If his first scoring shot was a six, it has not been counted.

Batsman Bowler
George Ulyett (England) Tom Garrett (Australia)
Tim Wall (Australia) Dick Tyldesley (England)
Foffie Williams*** (West Indies) Jim Laker (England)
Hines Johnson (West Indies) Bob Berry (England)
Frank King** (West Indies) Ron Archer (Australia)
Neil Adcock (South Africa) Johnnie Wardle (England)
Antao D’Souza (Pakistan) Len Coldwell (England)
Vanburn Holder (West Indies) Barry Knight (England)
John Jameson (England) Keith Boyce (West Indies)
Greg Chappell (Australia) David Steele (England)
Gus Logie (West Indies) Mohinder Amarnath (India)
Ian Botham (England) Craig McDermott (Australia)
Aravinda de Silva* (Sri Lanka) Kapil Dev (India)
Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) Phil Tuffnell (England)
Chris Cairns (New Zealand) Nehemiah Perry (West Indies)
Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka) Shaun Pollock (South Africa)
Paul Wiseman (New Zealand) Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka)
Brian Lara (West Indies) Brett Lee (Australia)
Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka) Irfan Pathan (India)
MS Dhoni (India) Pedro Collins (West Indies)
Greame Smith* (South Africa) Zaheer Khan (India)
Peter Fulton (New Zealand) Mohammad Ashraful (Bangladesh)
Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka) Chris Martin (New Zealand)
Shakib Al Hasan (Bang) Pragyan Ojha (India)
Morne Morkel (South Africa) Daniel Vettori (New Zealand)
Zaheer Khan (India) Tim Southee (New Zealand)
Chris Gayle* (West Indies) Sohag Gazi (Bangladesh)
Sachin Tendulkar*** (India) Nathan Lyon (Australia)
Mark Craig (New Zealand) Suleiman Benn (West Indies)

*First ball of the innings. ( Chris Gayle’s was the first ball of the match, and the first ball bowled by Sohag Gazi in Test cricket.)

**Out next ball.

***Hit first two balls for six.

Data courtesy: Charlie Davis

The first recorded instance of a batsman hitting the first ball for a six was back in the nineteenth century when English batsman George Ulyett hit the Australian bowler Tom Garrett for a six. The latest instance of course, was Mark Craig taking on Suleiman Benn.

Rather strangely, among the 28 recorded instances, eight first-ball sixes have been scored against an English bowler. Conversely, West Indian batsmen have hit their first ball for a six on seven occasions. The full break-up of how many sixes teams have hit and how many the teams have conceded is given below:

Batsmen  Bowlers
West Indies – 7 England – 8
Sri Lanka – 5 Australia – 5
New Zealand – 4 India – 5
South Africa – 3 West Indies – 4
England – 3 New Zealand – 3
India – 3 Bangladesh – 2
Australia – 2 Sri Lanka – 1
Pakistan – 1 South Africa – 1
Bangladesh – 1

Zaheer Khan is the only player to make an appearance in both lists. He hit a six off Tim Southee, and was hit by Graeme Smith for a six earlier in his career.

Arguably the most shocking aspect of the table is that one batsman has hit three first-ball sixes in his career. In a table with names like Gayle, Sanath Jayasuriya, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni, it boggles one’s mind that the batsman who features most often in the list is Sri Lankan spin wizard, Muttiah Muralitharan. Muralitharan has successfully hit first-ball sixes off Shaun Pollock, Irfan Pathan and Chris Martin. Move over Gayle and Dhoni. If you want to smash a six off the first ball you face, call Muralitharan!

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 198 runs

Photos

Don Bradman's ducks

Videos

Dhoni praises Raina's century in 2nd ODI

Shahrukh Khan scores a hundred!

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014: Kashmiri students bashed up in Punjab for supporting Pakistan

MS Dhoni did not cross the line, clarifies BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel

Suresh Raina: Ravi Shastri gave us a lot of confidence

MS Dhoni heaps praise on Suresh Raina for match-winning knock

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Jagmohan Dalmiya booked for disrespect towards national flag

Shahrukh Khan scores a hundred!

Shakib al-Hasan won’t be allowed to participate in CLT20 2014

Justice Mukul Mudgal: We will submit an interim report in Supreme Court

Ramesh Powar quits Rajasthan Ranji team after receiving NOC from BCCI

Hiralal Gaekwad: the southpaw who lost out to Vinoo Mankad

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 3rd ODI at Dambulla Preview: Series decider to witness intense battle between Asian giants

Ganesh Chathurti XI: Kapil Dev, Amit Mishra and Dodda Ganesh among India players to feature

Suresh Raina’s new avatar on India’s tour of England 2014

Four best partnerships between Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

666 Posts | 6 Fans

12 runs in one ball

Is Mouni Roy the new golden girl of Colors?

Apple’s ‘wish we could say more’ invite forces enthusiasts to decode the silence

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 3rd ODI at Dambulla Preview: Series decider to witness intense battle between Asian giants

Pakistan’s polio woes continue — funds likely to run out soon!

NGOs pursue education for all

After Rani Mukerji’s Mardaani, Priyanka Chopra’s Mary Kom declared tax free!

Apple iPhone 6: Everything we know so far

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Why adding every part of coconut to your diet is a healthy idea

Hiralal Gaekwad: the southpaw who lost out to Vinoo Mankad

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here