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List: ‘Four Wickets in One Over’ in International cricket

Cricket, as you might think, is not always a team game. Sometimes an incredible performance from an individual player can win a game–irrespective of the format. The feat of a bowler picking ‘four wickets inside 6 balls of an over’ is one of that kind.

If a bowler picks four wickets off 10 of the opponent wickets in a span of an over, hardly any team can bounce back from that. Especially in Test cricket, where wickets mean more than it was in the other formats, it hurts more.

In Test Cricket

There are six instances of bowlers picking up 4 wickets in an over in Test cricket. This is also the highest number of wickets ever taken inside an over in Test cricket.

#1 Maurice Allom (England) vs New Zealand (1929-30)

Maurice Allom couldn’t ask for a better start to his Test career, which anyways didn’t last long. The debutant’s 5-wicket haul for 38 runs was also his best-ever Test performance in his 5 matches long career. This is also the first-ever Test match for the New Zealand cricket team in Test cricket, and 5 other England players. Maurice’s killer-over destroyed the New Zealand team’s middle-order in the team’s first innings, where they bundled out from 21/3 to 21/7. The game is lost there as the kiwis were not able to look back from there and lost their first-ever International cricket game by 8 wickets.

#2 Ken Cranston (England) vs South Africa (1947)

It took Test cricket 17 more years to witness another incident of the same kind. Ken Cranston, the English all-rounder, in his only 2nd Test match, made things easy for England by cleaning up the South African tail in a single over without letting any run. Cranston ended his spell with an over of W0W0WW in his 4/12 figure. This leaves England only wanting 47 to win in the final innings, and they did it without losing a wicket.

#3 Fred Titmus (England) vs New Zealand (1965)

Another cricketer who got added to this list was Fred Titmus, an English all-rounder. Titmus, unlike Maurice and Cranston, played a bigger part in England’s Test history. The celebrated off-spinner had contributed to his team in more than one way by being a valuable lower-order batsman; he even opened innings for England in 1964 Ashes. Although, the incident of him bowling that super-over came in 1965 Test against New Zealand, where Titmus bowled out the kiwis tail in the final innings of the game to lead an innings victory for his team. England won that game by an innings and 187 runs.

#4 Chris Old (England) vs Pakistan (1978)

Check the video from 9.35 to witness the 4-wicket in an over instance

WW0WW was how the Chris Old’s over looked like in England’s 1978 Test match against Pakistan in Edgbaston. The English pacer’s 7/50 in this Test innings was also his career-best. He destroyed the visiting Asian’s batting tail as the scorecard tanked to 125/9 from 125/5. England won the game by an innings with Chris Old being the ‘Player of the Match’ performer for them.

#5 Wasim Akram (Pakistan) vs West Indies (1990-91)

The first time, someone other than an Englishman achieving this feat was Wasim Akram in 1991 Lahore Test against West Indies. And this is also the first instance where the incident didn’t result in for team’s victory as the match ended in a draw. The legendary left-arm pacer, who had already picked a 4-for in the first innings of West Indian batting, concluded the opponent’s 2nd innings by cleaning up their last 4 wickets for just one run. That particular Wasim’s Over looked like this: WW1WW, whereas the wicket-less delivery in the middle was a missed chance that ended in a run. This is another incident that adds up to the insane records hold by the legendary Wasim Akram.

#6 Andrew Caddick (England) vs West Indies (2000)

The last time we have witnessed this unique incident of 4 wickets in one over in Test cricket was in 2000 by Andy Caddick against West Indies. This is the third time we see Leed’s cricket stadium as a venue on this list. What’s with the Headingley air, I wonder? The wickets spread (W0WW0nbW) Caddick-over helped England to bundle West Indies for just 61 runs in the final innings, thereby helping his team win it convincingly at the end. It is special that this Caddick attack came against the Caribbean batting line-up that had Brian Lara, Jimmy Adams, and Ramnaresh Sarwan, by an innings and 39 runs.

In ODIs

Here’s the list of bowlers with 4 wickets in an over in ODIs

  • Chaminda Vaas vs BAN, 2003 (Pietermaritzburg)
  • Mohammad Sami vs NZ, 2003 (Lahore)
  • Lasith Malinga vs SA, 2007 (Guyana)
  • Adil Rashid vs WI, 2019 (Grenada)
  • Mohammad Siraj vs SL, 2023 (Colombo)

In T20Is

Malinga clean bowleds in ODI
Lasith Malinga (SL) in the top 5 Bowlers list of Most bowled wickets in ODIs
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In the shortest of formats, Lasith Malinga is the only one to achieve this feat. He dismantled New Zealand’s Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Colin de Grandhomme, and Ross Taylor off 4 consecutive balls in a T20 match against the kiwis.

Malinga, along with Rashid Khan, are the only two players to involve in the 3 instances (Malinga 2) where 4 wickets were picked in consecutive deliveries in International cricket. However, the other two cases involved 2 different overs.

And, then there is a different incident, where a hat trick came in three balls from three different overs and spanned two days. But that’s a topic for a separate blog.

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