Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties and it isn’t over until fat lady sings. India’s dramatic win over Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy final on Sunday (March 18) had Dinesh Karthik hitting the last ball for a six. This cricketer has been much maligned and always been underrated by fans and experts throughout his career. Dinesh Karthik, who hit Soumya Sarkar inside out over extra cover for a six to win the match for India (India needed five off the last ball) and made his name into the history books.
Karthik played the innings of a lifetime (29 off 8 balls, strike rate 362.5) and gave India an unlikely win. Cricket has quite a few instances of players hitting the last ball for six and let’s look at players, who decided the result of the match by hitting the last ball for a maximum.
1. Javed Miandad (India vs Pakistan, Sharjah, 1986): Former Pakistan captain and India’s arch-nemesis Javed Miandad is still remembered for hitting that six at Sharjah which made him a legend. Miandad was a street fighter and when Pakistan needed four to win off the last ball, Miandad quite spectacularly hit Chetan Sharma for six and clinched the match for Pakistan.
After this heroic act, Miandad became villain No 1 in India and poor Sharma despite achieving much more in his career is still being remembered as a bowler, who got hit for six by Miandad. There have been many India vs Pakistan matches, but this vintage six created a new rivalry between two nations and many people are still having nightmares (including Chetan Sharma) about this particular six and Miandad gave one more reason to fans to not like him.
2. Lance Klusener (New Zealand vs South Africa, Napier, 1999):
South African cricket has always been at the wrong end of many heartbreaking results over the years (tied matches, rain interruption, D/L method). So, it was quite refreshing when Proteas all-rounder Lance Klusener struck maximum against New Zealand’s Dion Nash to win the match for SA. In this match, four runs were required off the last ball and Klusener, as he had usually done in his career, played the finishing role to perfection (except 199 semi-final vs Australia) and gave SA an unlikely win.
3. Nathan McCullum (Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, Hambantota, 2013):
Nathan McCullum and last ball six? It must be a typo because hitting sixes is the forte of his brother Brendon McCullum, isn’t it? But, strange things have happened and during an ODI against Sri Lanka, Nathan blasted Rangana Herath for a maximum and sealed the seal. The Black Caps always get a raw deal when it comes to recognition and this feat by Nathan McCullum is again overshadowed.
4. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies vs Sri Lanka, Port of Spain, 2008):
Shivnarine Chanderpaul is not known for his power hitting and six hitting ability. So, this was a big surprise when Chanderpaul against all odds hit Sri Lankan Chaminda Vaas for a six to win the match for Windies. Incidentally, six runs were needed off the last ball and former West Indies captain nonchalantly hit the winning six and showed another side to his batting.
5. Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh, Harare Sports Club, 2006):
Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has had a quite an eventful career. Zimbabwe over the years has punched above their weight and Taylor wrote his name into history books by hitting Bangladeshi Mashrafe Mortaza (Soumya Sarkar has some company) for a six and coincidentally five runs were required of the ultimate delivery and Taylor struck gold. The minnows were chasing 237 and Taylor’s six gave Zimbabwe a much-required win.