Midway through the 30th over, from the hapless Daan van Bunge, it was clear Herschelle Gibbs was going for a record that had always been considered elusive. The fact that the opponents were pushovers was offset by a whiskey company's million-dollar challenge to anyone who could hit six sixes in an over. The company in question, Johnnie Walker, apparently encouraged the players in the tournament to "know their boundaries".
In a colourful career that had had match-fixing scandals, racism charges, "dropping" the 1999 World Cup, and dope-smoking, Gibbs had certainly crossed many more boundaries than the sixes he hit in that over.
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They weren't miscues by any stretch of the imagination, but they weren't conventional shots either. Featuring smears over long-off, long-on and midwicket, it was arguably some of the most reckless driving ever seen on a cricket pitch.
"If the ball presents itself, I'll try everything," Gibbs said later. "I was lucky the straight boundaries were quite small but the six sixes was a bonus, it was just nice to get a hit in the middle. The message came out that Jacques Kallis and I could have a dip, and we probably had a bigger dip than was needed. After the fourth one, I thought it could be on. I thought about using my feet and coming down the pitch, but then I changed my mind and decided to stay in the crease. The idea was for me to have another two goes at it [the record] and luckily I didn't miscue any of them, so it was quite nice."
It was thrilling and ferocious stuff. Pity there were barely 1000 spectators in the ground to witness it.
This article was first published in 2014