Hazratullah Zazai, the Afghan top-order dasher, has become just the sixth batsman in history to hit six sixes in an over in representative cricket.
The 20-year-old batsman from Paktia in Afghanistan, who has played three T20Is and two ODIs to date, was out playing for Kabul Zwanan against Balkh Legends in an Afghanistan Premier League game in Sharjah on Sunday, October 14.
This match today is all about making new records. The flamboyant batsman Hazratullah Zazai has smacked 6 sixes in an over. Got his fifty in just 12 balls. #APLT20 @ACBofficials #BalkhVsKabul pic.twitter.com/KN1s5MJY5y
— Afghanistan Premier League T20 (@APLT20official) October 14, 2018
Batting first were the Legends, and Chris Gayle took centre stage, smashing 80 in 48 balls as they put up a huge 244-6. Out came Zazai then, and in the fourth over of the chase, he took on left-arm spinner Abdullah Mazari and dished out some serious punishment. Six sixes, plus a wide, made it 37 runs for the over.
Zazai brought up his half-century in just 12 balls, matching the record, and he went on to score 62 in just 17 balls. The chase wasn’t quite derailed after his fall, but Kabul ended on 223-7, 21 runs behind.
“It was a surreal moment for me to perform in front of my idol (Gayle). I was just trying to play my natural game and did not in any way think of outshining anyone,” said Zazai afterwards.
It was only the sixth instance of six sixes being hit in an over in representative cricket, and just the third in T20 cricket.
Garry Sobers and Ravi Shastri have done it in first-class cricket, Herschelle Gibbs did so in the 2007 50-over World Cup, while Yuvraj Singh, Ross Whiteley and now Zazai have done it in T20s, with Singh’s heroics coming in international cricket, the 2007 World T20.
“It is a proud moment for me – it is a very enjoyable moment for me that my name is now linked to so many big names of the game, who are really legends of the game,” said Zazai.
Internationally, while Zazai played one T20I – against the UAE – in December 2016, he really burst through in August this year when he hit 74 and 82 in two T20Is in Ireland, both of which Afghanistan won. His initiation in ODIs wasn’t as exciting, as he managed just 14 and 1, on the same tour.