Amazing Cricket Facts

ACF 3: When Kapil Dev hit 4 Sixes in a row to avoid the follow-on!

Welcome back for another Amazing Cricket Facts series article.

This time, I have come up with one of the lesser known cricket fact about Kapil Dev. The World cup winning former Indian captain had always been sound with his attacking batting skills and arousing performances.

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THE MATCH

India was playing England in a 1990 Test match at the infamous Lord’s cricket stadium. England, while batting first ended up with a huge first innings score of 653/4, thanks to their skipper Graham Gooch’s exciting 333. It was the England skipper’s highest score in Tests, and the 5th Triple century for England in Tests – interestingly the latest one from his country, till date.

Graham Gooch 333
Graham Gooch on his way to 333, the highest individual score in any match at Lord’s.

Happened to bat against a huge total in board, Team India replied with centuries from their opener Ravi Shastri (100) and the skipper Mohammad Azharuddin (121).

THE INCIDENT

Despite the strong batting show from the visiting team’s batsmen, India found themself at one point with the scorecard reading 430/9, needing 24 to avoid follow-on.

With just one wicket in hand, Kapil Dev was left with the No.11 batsman, Narendra Hirwani to do the needful.

It was when Eddie Hemmings came into bowl the 114th over in the Indian innings, Kapil Dev did something that’s undoable in those times.

After defending the first two balls of that over, Kapil Dev hit 4 sixes in the row against the English off-breaker to prevent his team from the follow-on.

Can you believe it? Kapil just straight driven Hemmings four times consecutively with each balls landing in the building constructions (somehow was there) outside the boundary lines.

Indeed!!! It is one of the greatest moments in Indian Cricket.

Here’s the video of Kapil Dev’s 4 consecutive sixes!

SOURCE: Cricket Cloud Youtube Page

THE RESULT

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Graham Gooch had gone for an another century to help England ending at the right side of the match. Interestingly, Kapil Dev, in the second innings, got out by Eddie, the bowler he had smashed for four sixes in the first innings. Even though India was defeated in that match, what stood highlighted was Kapil Dev’s 4 consecutive sixes in the iconic venue.

This is what Eddie Hemmings has got to say about hitting for four consecutive sixes in an ESPN CricInfo story:

After Kapil had hit three sixes, I turned to Goochie and said, “What’s the follow-on?”, because I don’t look at scoreboards. He said, “One more of them and they’ve done it.” I don’t think we’d have won if we’d made them follow on. And Goochie wouldn’t have got his second hundred. A lot went on in that game, more than just four balls that I bowled! And anyway, he tried to do it again second innings and was caught at deep mid-wicket.

Two good shots and two slogs! People forget that they were quite short boundaries, because they were building the media centre at the time – although one did disappear straight over the top of the lot, to be fair.

Eddie Hemmings

Thanks for reading!

You can read more of our series of amazing and untold cricket facts here.

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