Sixes are the soul of T20 cricket, so to say. With the inherent risk element, they set the pulse of the spectators racing and get them on their feet.
There is this compelling expectation and excitement in the air when the batsman takes the aerial route in an effort to clear the fence, throwing caution to the wind.
An attempted six throws up many possibilities. The suspense lies in whether the skier would travel the distance or descend in the outfield, and if it is the latter, find the fielder and whether the catch will be taken or spilled. More often than not, it’s a flourish or perish scenario for the batsman.
A study of the ‘Strike-rate of sixes per match’ and the ‘Pattern of the Maximum’ in the short span of the IPL’s history reveals some interesting statistics.
While the inaugural edition in 2008 is still the greatest ‘hit’ with 10.72 sixes per game (622 sixes from 58 completed matches, the current tournament is the least prolific with a strike-rate of 7.33 (220 sixes from 30 matches up to April 22).
Gayle on cue!
And, as if on cue, Chris Gayle of RCB seemed to have decided to correct the imbalance single-handedly as he slammed 17 sixes in his unbeaten 175 against a hapless PWI in Bangalore on Tuesday (31st match of IPL-VI).
In this year’s IPL, the 200th six was recorded only in the 29th match (KXIP vs PWI on April 21) which is quite in contrast to the opening season 2008 when the milestone was registered in the 17th match itself.
Not a single completed match has gone by in the annals of the IPL without at least a six being hit.
The highest number of sixes scored in a single match is 30 (32nd match in 2010 - CSK vs RR) and the lowest of one six has been recorded twice — 50th match in 2010 (CSK vs DD) and 32nd game in 2011 (KTK vs DC).