This is yet another article in the series '5 Straight Points'. Here I look at 5 numbers that stay etched in the minds of cricket watchers everywhere.
5.) 10 for ______
Jim Laker's 10 wicket haul in 1956 is one of the few records that can never be broken lest be tied. But of course the latter was done by Anil Kumble against Pakistan. Jim Laker against the Australian's came up with a dream spell picking up 19 wickets in the match with figures of 10 for 53 in an innings. A statistical anomaly that no bowler has come close to beating since. Only Anil Kumble has emulated Laker by taking all ten wickets in an innings and this was against a Pakistan team where the scoreboard read 74 for 10. These two are numbers that will probably never be tied ever again and numbers found in every cricket watchers brain. Surely impassable records.
Brian Charles Lara holds several world records for high scoring. He has the highest individual score in both first-class cricket (501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994) and Test cricket (400 not out for the West Indies against England in 2004). His 400 not out forever rewrote the record books of cricket. The only player close to Lara is Hayden who is still 20 runs short. Lara faced 582 deliveries, hitting 43 fours and four sixes in Antigua to bring up his quadruple century. This is yet another unlikely peak to be ever scaled by anyone ever.
3.) 6 x 6 = 36 (Six Sixes)
The most runs that can be legally hit of a single over is 36 runs, which requires the batsman to deposit all six balls of the over into the stands. This incredible feat has been done only by four people so far. Gary Sobers and Ravi Shashtri set the record in first class, while Herschelle Gibbs became the first person to hit six sixes in the international arena when he whacked Netherland's Dan van Bunge all over the park in 2007. Yuvraj Singh emulated the feat in Durban when he too hit Stuart Broad all over the park for 36 runs. This is perhaps one of the most celebrated incident in Indian cricket.
The 5th One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Australia, played on March 12, 2006 at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, has been acclaimed by many as being one of the greatest One Day International matches ever played. The match broke many cricket records, including both the first and the second team innings score of over 400 runs. Australia batting first, under Ponting's brilliance (164 of just 105 balls) posted a World Record total of 434. South Africa needing 435 to win faced a mammoth task but under Herschelle Gibbs' 175 they overcame the target setting a new World Record in it's place.
This is definitely the most celebrated number in cricket. It's the most famous statistic in Australian sport, familiar to most who love cricket, and to a great many who do not. 99.94 is the batting average of the probably greatest batsman ever. Sir Donald Bradman has the highest average in test cricket. In the final Test at The Oval, Bradman walked out to bat in Australia's first innings. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and three cheers from the opposition. His Test batting average stood at just a shade above 101. Facing the wrist-spin of Eric Hollies, Bradman pushed forward to the second ball that he faced, was deceived by a googly, and bowled between bat and pad for a duck. An England batting collapse resulted in an innings defeat, denying Bradman the opportunity to bat again and so his career average finished at 99.94; if he had scored just four runs in his last innings, it would have been 100. A story developed over the years that claimed Bradman missed the ball because of tears in his eyes, a claim Bradman denied for the rest of his life. Sadly in his last innings Bradman scored his first duck shocking thousands forever and hence creating a cricketing folklore.