In “idol” Chris Gayle, Hazratullah Zazai had the perfect audience for his six-sixes-in-an-over show for Kabul Zwanan against Balkh Legends in an Afghanistan Premier League clash at Sharjah.
Whether it was Gayle’s presence in the opposition or the target of 245 – it is irrelevant – Zazai went on a rampage in the fourth over of the innings, smashing each of Abdullah Mazari’s six deliveries – barring a wide – out of the park.
“It was a surreal moment for me to perform in front of my idol [Gayle],” Zazai said after the match. “I was just trying to play my natural game and did not in any way think of outshining anyone.”
He did, however, outshine plenty of others, becoming only the sixth player in the history of competitive cricket, and only the third in T20s to hit six sixes in an over. Those to have achieved this feat before him are Sir Garry Sobers, Ravi Shastri, Herschelle Gibbs, Yuvraj Singh and Ross Whiteley.
In the process, Zazai also equalled the record for the fastest T20 fifty, incidentally also held by Gayle and Yuvraj, when he got there in 12 balls, with his fifth consecutive six.
“It is a proud moment for me,” Zazai said. “It is a very enjoyable moment for me that my name is now linked to so many big names of the game, who are really legends of the game. I am thankful to Almighty Allah for helping me score the 12-ball fifty.”
Zazai’s 17-ball 62, however, went in vain, as he was unable to sustain the onslaught. Kabul lost by 21 runs, but Zazai’s innings was one to remember, not least for the fact that it overshadowed an archetypal 80 from his idol in the first innings. The other significant record broken on the evening was for the most sixes in a T20 match – 37 in total – only one short of the record for the most sixes in any match across any format.