Feature

Kyle Mayers' stunning back-foot cover drive - the Shot Heard 'Round the World

"I can't recall seeing that but that was a real cracker," Alzarri Joseph says

Alex Malcolm
05-Oct-2022
Kyle Mayers played a great shot over the off side, Australia vs West Indies, 1st T20I, Carrara, October 5, 2022

Kyle Mayers' cover-driven six defied physics  •  Getty Images

On October 3, 1951 New York Giants' Bobby Thomson struck a game-winning home run that became known as the "Shot Heard 'Round the World."
On October 5, 2022 West Indies' Kyle Mayers produced his own version with a lofted back-foot cover drive off Cameron Green that landed in the second tier of the Gold Coast's generously sized Metricon Stadium.
Mayers had never faced Cameron Green before. It was the same Green that troubled the world's No.1 Test batter Joe Root last summer on bouncy tracks. The same Green who bowled three overs for 14 runs against Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, and Hardik Pandya in Hyderabad less than two weeks ago, even as the India trio mauled Australia's specialist bowlers at more than ten an over.
Mayers got four sighters from Green and he only laid the toe of the bat on one of them. Two were wides. One was a full toss. But the fourth climbed viciously from a length past the shoulder of the bat to leave Mayers with a look on his face that suggested this was literally and figuratively half a world away from most of the bowling and conditions he had faced in the CPL only last week.
No fuss though. Not much fazes Mayers. The next ball was back of a length and a little wider at 135kph, Mayers gave himself room, opened his body up, and hit a checked lofted cover drive off the back foot that seemed to defy physics. Very rarely would a shot like that carry for six. If they ever do, it usually just creeps over rope and lands inside the fence. But this kept going and going and going, until it hit a chair five rows back in the second tier, for a 105-metre six.
"Amazing," Pat Cummins said after the match with a smile. "I thought it was going to be the bottom tier, but it just kept going."
It put smiles on the faces in the West Indies dugout. "Everyone really enjoyed that," Alzarri Joseph said. "That went a mile."
Joseph was at a loss to find a comparable shot in his career to date.
"I can't recall seeing that but that was a real cracker," he said.
The Australians had one they could compare it with later in their batting innings. Matthew Wade, who continued his freakish finishing form with a match-winning knock, got a similar delivery from Odean Smith in the 10th over of the chase. It was a similar pace, length, and line to Green's, albeit at a different trajectory. Wade opened his body up and pinned his ears back to try and match Mayers only to chunk it halfway to the cover rope for a single, which caused a laugh in Australia's dugout.
"We were all in the shed saying, yeah, that's a bit different to the one earlier today," Cummins said while giggling.
It was a forgettable night in many respects, with Australia creeping home in an error-riddled game in front of a largely empty stadium.
But it was an unforgettable shot that social media sent round the world.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo