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George Binoy and Travis Basevi dig into our stats database

Sixes to the max

Most batsmen hitting a maximum in an innings in Tests, ODIs and Twenty20

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

June 30, 2010

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AB de Villiers goes over the ropes as the fielders look on, West Indies v South Africa, 2nd Test, St Kitts, 2nd day, June 19, 2010
AB de Villiers was one of seven South Africans to hit a six in the first innings at Basseterre © AFP
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South Africa broke a record of sorts during the snooze fest that masqueraded as a Test in St. Kitts last week. Seven South Africans hit at least one six while compiling their first-innings total of 543 for 6 against West Indies - a first for Test cricket in an utterly forgettable draw. No more than six batsmen had cleared the boundary in the same innings of a Test before.

Graeme Smith, Alviro Petersen, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher and Dale Steyn were the six hitters in that innings. De Villiers, in fact, smashed half a dozen sixes, compensating in advance for a six-less 31 off 130 balls in the second dig. Hashim Amla was the only one to miss out. Had Amla hit one, all eight batsmen in South Africa's innings would have had at least one six, setting a new benchmark for the highest proportion of batsmen with a six in an innings.

South Africa's performance in the first innings at Basseterre also equalled the record for the second highest number of sixes in an innings - 15. Two other teams have also hit 15: India against Sri Lanka in Mumbai last year, and Pakistan against New Zealand in Lahore in 2001. The record for most sixes in a Test innings belongs to Australia, who hit 17 against Zimbabwe in Perth. Matthew Hayden contributed 11 on his way to 380.

South Africa have previous when it comes to collective six-hitting. They, along with Pakistan and India, are one of only three teams to have had six batsmen clear the boundary in an innings - they did it during an innings-and-62-run victory against Zimbabwe in Centurion in 2005. South Africa are also the only side to have all their batsmen hit a six in an innings - Herschelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie and Lance Klusener cleared the boundary during South Africa's 600 for 3 against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club in 2001. Klusener hit one even though he made only 8.

Most batsmen hitting a six in an innings - Test
Team Num Total % Score Overs Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
South Africa 7 8 87.5 543/6d 147.0 1 drawn v WI Basseterre Jun 18, 2010 Test 1961
South Africa 6 8 75.0 480/7d 109.5 2 won v Zim Centurion Mar 11, 2005 Test 1740
Pakistan 6 11 54.5 462 115.4 1 drawn v Eng Faisalabad Nov 20, 2005 Test 1772
India 6 11 54.5 664 170.0 1 drawn v Eng The Oval Aug 9, 2007 Test 1842
New Zealand 5 11 45.4 502 186.3 1 won v India Christchurch Feb 22, 1968 Test 631
Australia 5 11 45.4 585 110.2x8 2 won v Pak Adelaide Dec 22, 1972 Test 704
West Indies 5 11 45.4 493 141.0 2 won v India Delhi Dec 11, 1974 Test 747
India 5 11 45.4 527/9d 170.0 2 drawn v Pak Chennai Feb 3, 1987 Test 1066
South Africa 5 5 100.0 600/3d 139.0 1 won v Zim Harare Sep 7, 2001 Test 1562
South Africa 5 9 55.5 519/8d 186.2 2 drawn v Zim Bulawayo Sep 14, 2001 Test 1563
Australia 5 11 45.4 456 99.1 2 won v Eng Perth Nov 29, 2002 Test 1629
Australia 5 10 50.0 605/9d 154.3 1 won v WI Bridgetown May 1, 2003 Test 1643
South Africa 5 8 62.5 604/6d 158.0 1 won v WI Centurion Jan 16, 2004 Test 1682
England 5 11 45.4 407 79.2 1 won v Aus Birmingham Aug 4, 2005 Test 1758
India 5 11 45.4 316/9d 71.0 3 won v SL Ahmedabad Dec 18, 2005 Test 1778
Australia 5 11 45.4 251 67.1 1 won v WI Bridgetown Jun 12, 2008 Test 1879
Pakistan 5 11 45.4 425/9d 123.0 3 drawn v SL Colombo (SSC) Jul 20, 2009 Test 1927
Sri Lanka 5 11 45.4 452 117.4 1 won v NZ Galle Aug 18, 2009 Test 1930
Australia 5 10 50.0 511/8d 153.0 3 won v NZ Hamilton Mar 27, 2010 Test 1957

Six batsmen have hit a six in an innings in 10 one-day internationals, and all of them occurred in the 21st century. The record, however, is surprisingly from a one-dayer in 1983, when West Indies hosted India in Berbice, Guyana. During West Indies' chase of India's 282, seven batsmen - Gordon Greenidge, Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Faoud Bacchus, Larry Gomes, Jeff Dujon and Andy Roberts - cleared the boundary. West Indies, however, fell 27 runs short of the target and suffered their first ODI defeat against India. Their next two defeats against India were in the World Cup that year - in a league match and the final.

Most batsmen hitting a six in an innings - ODI
Team Num Total % Score Overs Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
West Indies 7 11 63.6 255/9 47.0 2 lost v India Albion Mar 29, 1983 ODI 191
Pakistan 6 10 60.0 286/8 50.0 1 won v Kenya Sharjah Apr 8, 2003 ODI 1999
Asia XI 6 9 66.6 267/7 50.0 1 won v Afr Durban Aug 20, 2005 ODI 2270
New Zealand 6 10 60.0 332/8 49.0 2 won v Aus Christchurch Dec 10, 2005 ODI 2303
Bermuda 6 10 60.0 275/8 50.0 1 lost v Ire Nairobi (Jaff) Jan 31, 2007 ODI 2494
Australia 6 7 85.7 346/5 50.0 1 lost v NZ Hamilton Feb 20, 2007 ODI 2527
India 6 7 85.7 413/5 50.0 1 won v Ber Port of Spain Mar 19, 2007 ODI 2542
Pakistan 6 11 54.5 349 49.5 1 won v Zim Kingston Mar 21, 2007 ODI 2547
Asia XI 6 9 66.6 337/7 50.0 1 won v Afr Chennai Jun 9, 2007 ODI 2588
India 6 11 54.5 222 47.3 2 lost v Aus Kochi Oct 2, 2007 ODI 2623
India 6 8 75.0 339/6 50.0 1 won v WI Kingston Jun 26, 2009 ODI 2852

While the glass ceiling of six batsmen being the most to clear the boundary in an innings has been broken for Tests and ODIs, it remains in Twenty20 internationals. The mark was set in the Australia-England fixture at the SCG in 2007 - when everyone, with the exception of Michael Clarke, cleared the boundary. There is a conspicuous absence of Twenty20 matches from the last two years, when the number of internationals multiplied, in the top half of the table below. Perhaps it's because bowlers have got cleverer and found ways to reduce the number of sixes.

Most batsmen hitting a six in an innings - T20I
Team Num Total % Score Overs Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
Australia 6 7 85.7 221/5 20.0 1 won v Eng Sydney Jan 9, 2007 T20I 13
England 6 8 75.0 200/6 20.0 2 lost v India Durban Sep 19, 2007 T20I 40
Pakistan 6 11 54.5 147/9 20.0 1 lost v Eng Bridgetown May 6, 2010 T20I 163
Australia 5 7 71.4 214/5 20.0 1 won v NZ Auckland Feb 17, 2005 T20I 1
Pakistan 5 9 55.5 191/7 20.0 1 won v Ban Nairobi (Gym) Sep 2, 2007 T20I 18
England 5 11 45.4 188/9 20.0 1 won v Zim Cape Town Sep 13, 2007 T20I 25
Australia 5 9 55.5 173/7 20.0 2 lost v India Durban Sep 22, 2007 T20I 45
England 5 10 50.0 184/8 20.0 1 won v NZ Auckland Feb 5, 2008 T20I 53
England 5 9 55.5 193/8 20.0 1 won v NZ Christchurch Feb 7, 2008 T20I 54
South Africa 5 7 71.4 156/5 20.0 1 won v Aus Centurion Mar 29, 2009 T20I 88
Australia 5 10 50.0 139/8 20.0 2 lost v SA Centurion Mar 29, 2009 T20I 88
Australia 5 11 45.4 159/9 20.0 1 lost v SL Nottingham Jun 8, 2009 T20I 97
Pakistan 5 7 71.4 153/5 20.0 1 won v NZ Dubai Nov 13, 2009 T20I 123
Sri Lanka 5 9 55.5 206/7 20.0 1 lost v India Mohali Dec 12, 2009 T20I 127
Bangladesh 5 11 45.4 114 18.4 2 lost v Aus Bridgetown May 5, 2010 T20I 161
South Africa 5 9 55.5 139/7 20.0 1 won v Afgh Bridgetown May 5, 2010 T20I 162
Australia 5 9 55.5 197/7 19.5 2 won v Pak Gros Islet May 14, 2010 T20I 176

If there's a particular List you would like to see, email us with your comments and suggestions.

George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at Cricinfo

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket

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