The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup was a memorable one for fans of England, in no small part due to the scintillating performances of their men en route to their maiden World Cup triumph. During their title-winning campaign, many players produced moments of individual brilliance, including Joe Root, John Bairstow, Ben Stokes, and more importantly, Eoin Morgan.
On this day one year back, the England skipper produced one of his best performances with the bat. Hitting the most sixes ever in an innings, he beat three other players who had the same tally. On the first anniversary of this event, we take a look at five occasions when batsmen hit the most sixes in a One Day International:
Shane Watson - 15 sixes against Bangladesh, Dhaka (April 2011)
Australia were among the best ODI sides in 2011, and Shane Watson was an integral part of that team. After losing out on a chance to retain the World Cup for a fourth successive time, Australia toured Bangladesh, where Watson produced a one-of-a-kind innings.
Chasing the hosts’ 229, Shane Watson hit 185 runs in 96 balls at a strike-rate of 192.70. This innings included a plethora of fours and sixes – 15 of each, to be precise, beating former West Indies batsman Xavier Marshall’s previous record of 12 sixes against Canada in 2008.
By comparison, Ricky Ponting was Australia’s second-highest run-getter, and he scored just 37 runs off 42 balls.
Rohit Sharma - 16 sixes against Australia, Bengaluru (November 2013)
Rohit Sharma has a knack for breaking records regularly for the Indian national team. When Australia took on India in Bengaluru in 2013, he became the third player in men’s ODI history to hit a double century. Apart from this, he also broke Watson’s record for the most sixes in an innings. Ironically, Watson was facing Rohit Sharma when he broke the record.
After a slow start to the innings, Rohit Sharma accelerated during the middle overs. He scored a massive 209 runs off 158 at a strike-rate of 132.27. His knock included 12 fours and 16 sixes, becoming the first of three batsmen to achieve the latter. India ended up scoring 383 as they went on to beat Australia by 57 runs.
AB de Villiers - 16 sixes against West Indies, Johannesburg (January 2015)
When it comes to big-hitting sprees, AB de Villiers’ name always pops up. The star striker has etched his name in record books for many individual knocks. The fastest century by AB de Villiers took place during the West Indies tour of South Africa, during which de Villiers also became the second player to hit 16 sixes.
Batting first, three of the Proteas batsmen managed to score centuries that day but it was skipper AB de Villiers who went on to script history. He beat Corey Anderson’s previous record of a 36-ball 100 against the same opponent and ended up hitting a mammoth 149 off 44 balls at a strike-rate of 338.63. The Proteas ended the innings at a mammoth 439/2.
Chris Gayle - 16 sixes against Zimbabwe, Canberra (February 2015)
Chris Gayle has always been associated with some of the most powerful knocks of limited-overs cricket. The southpaw might not be consistent in his game, but he has a knack for providing some entertaining performances for his fans, with the group game against Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup a clear example.
Batting first, the Windies were faced with an early dilemma after the loss of Dwayne Smith’s wicket. However, his opening partner Gayle went on a rampage against the Zimbabwe bowlers, racking a sizable tally of 215 runs off 147 balls at a strike-rate of 146.25. While hitting a record-equaling 16 sixes during his innings, he also set the record for the highest partnership for any wicket, with Marlon Samuels, which currently stands at 372.
Eoin Morgan - 17 sixes against Afghanistan, Manchester (June 2019)
England were not the most convincing side during the group stages of the World Cup but they put on a few strong performances for the crowds during their title-winning campaign. Led ably by Eoin Morgan, England put on a show for the audiences when they took on Afghanistan in the 24th game of the tournament.
Coming to the crease in the 30th over of the game, Eoin Morgan went on a rampage from the get-go, hitting 148 runs off 71 deliveries at a strike-rate of 208.45. His knock included four fours and an incredible 17 sixes, breaking a record held by three other players, as mentioned above. England went on to score 397/6, eventually beating Afghanistan by 150 runs.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Geoff Caddick