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)

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Bulawayo

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014 (18:30 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

More

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014  at London

England won by an innings and 244 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 105 runs

Photos

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge performed by cricketers

Videos

Hughes explains technique behind cut shot

India still in a position to succeed against England in ODIs

13 things you may not know about Ravi Shastri

Duncan Fletcher speaks out; explains why Team India failed in the Test series against England!

Science of slip fielding: What might be wrong with Team India’s slip cordon

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 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe

IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting controversy: Mudgal committee may seek extension to August 31 deadline

Melbourne Cricket Ground to get new turf ahead of 2015 World Cup

Zimbabwe surrender meekly against mighty South Africa; set target of 166

Michael Vaughan accepts Stuart Broad’s ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’; becomes latest cricketer to join the bandwagon

Live Scorecard: India Women vs England Women 1st ODI at Scarborough

ICC World Cup 2011 to 2015: Test playing nations have seen numerous changes to the coaching setup

Lalit Modi nominates N Srinivasan for ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

Yasir Hameed: I have certainly not fulfilled the potential I had

India still in a position to succeed against England in ODIs

Alex Hales’ inclusion a positive move by England for ODI series against India

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

659 Posts | 6 Fans

India tour of England 2014: Sunil Gavaskar says Indian batsmen did not learn anything

Manjhi questions Modi`s Jharkhand visit during bypoll in Bihar

Court acquits man in 1984 Gurdwara Pulbangash riot case

Lalit Modi nominates N Srinivasan for ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

When is the best time to practice yoga?

Australia tour of Zimbabwe 2014: Michael Clarke expects tough challenge

Vishal Bhardwaj: It’s time for I&B ministry to help the film fraternity!

US gurdwaras to help project positive Sikh image

India to face Jordan and UAE in Asian Games

Forget Kim Kardashian: Meet the real queen of selfies

Forget the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Push-up Challenge is here!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here