Why Harry Brook’s six fours in an over was better than six sixes in an over

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Well it definitely, definitely wasn’t the wild shits. The first day of England’s first Test in Pakistan since 2005 saw them reach 500 quicker than any Test team ever before. Peak dominance of bat over ball came when Harry Brook hit six fours in one Saud Shakeel over.

We put it to you that six fours in an over is better than six sixes in an over.

Six sixes is showy. Six sixes is making a point.

Six fours is pure cold-blooded murder.

Think of it this way, if you’ve hit five sixes off the first five balls of an over – which is already quite a risky thing to do – you’re pretty much obliged to try and whack the sixth one into the stands. Even if you’re in rare good form, definitely trying to hit a six before you’ve even seen what ball’s being bowled is quite a good way of getting out.

After five fours, you’ve still just about got a choice. And even if you do opt for trying to larrup yet another boundary, it’s not that big a risk. You can still try and keep it on the deck.

Six fours is just pure unapologetic dominance. At the start of Shakeel’s over, Harry Brook was careering along merrily on 60 off 58 balls. By the end of the over, he was on 84 off 64 balls and still hadn’t given Pakistan a sniff of dismissing him.

As a bowling side, that’s a horrifying thing to have to come to terms with. The batter’s just shunted his rate of scoring up considerably and yet somehow that hasn’t shifted the ‘likelihood of being dismissed’ dial over more than the merest fraction.

Six sixes in an over is a horrific bludgeoning blow to the body. Six fours is an agonising stiletto stab that also brings with it the promise of a great many more stabs to come.

“If only, if only,” Pakistan will be thinking. “If only it had been the wild shits.”

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  1. Reminds me of Sehwag in Tests

    He would budgeon for boundaries and once the field spreads, coolly take up the singles on offer

  2. Some facts:

    It’s the first time ever that a side has scored 500 on Day 1 of a test.
    It’s the first time ever that a side has scored 500 in 5/6 of Day 1 of a test.

    Like with the sixth four of the over, England scoring 500 on Day 1 seemed inevitable the moment it became apparent that it might happen. This inevitability wasn’t going to be put off by bad light being called. It said to itself, if we need to get twelve from the last over, we WILL get twelve. In fact, we’ll get eighteen, just to be on the safe side.

    No people were involved in any of this. I mean, obviously some people were involved, but they were peripheral – pieces on the board, as it were. It was inevitability that was driving – pure, disembodied inevitability. When they get back to the hotel, those English batters will have a weird sense that something happened between when they left in the morning and now, but they won’t be sure what it was.

  3. Fastest Test centuries (by balls) for England outside home soil :-

    80 – Harry Brook v PAK, today
    86 – Zak Crawley v PAK, today
    88 – Kevin Pietersen v WI, 2009
    90 – Ollie Pope v PAK, today
    105 – Ben Duckett v PAK, today

  4. It was an extraordinary performance and is for sure part of a pattern stemming from a fearless approach to test cricket.

    But the “test cricket world changed for ever” hyperbole should be somewhat mitigated by the flatness of this track, the e we inning of the he toss and the inexperience if this Pakistan attack.

    Pakistan’s batting in the face of a formidable total should be interesting.

    I hope against hope that this England team’s positive test cricket can do something similar to the Aussies at home in June, but I’m not expecting to see run fest records broken next summer. Let’s enjoy the autumn glow in Pakistan while it lasts.

      1. A paraphrasing of that classic line from Beowulf, Ged, yes?

        And did Beowulf become enragged; boldly won he the he toss, inning his loins and e we clefting his frontspiece asunder, mighty against the inexperience if this Pakistan attack.

      2. At last, someone comes along who understands the references. Good on you, Bert.

        Whether any amount of girding would enable Beowulf to vanquish Grendel on that Rawalpindi road is another matter entirely, of course.

  5. “This video is not available in your location”.

    The most painful blow one can receive in the morning. Crueler than what Harry did to Shak.

    1. Whaaaat. Sorry, didn’t realise. Would sooner everyone not have the video than have one person get that message.

      If it’s any consolation, the fours themselves are largely unremarkable.

      1. No worries King, I caught the day’s highlights on youtube. It was a fourathon like no other.

      2. Third four was a cracker – the rest were a bit smeary. All six together is a great thing.

      3. You don’t want to be throwing words like ‘smeary’ around given events in the England camp leading up to this Test.

  6. Isn’t it about time we had a “Slog Of The Day” piece for test match days as well as white ball tournaments.

    I know you don’t do requests…

  7. Interesting how the commentator elected to describe the first, and only the first, of the six fours specifically as ‘easy pickings’.

    This BTL section has made be splutter on several occasions, albeit thankfully from the right end.

  8. As a lover of multi-layered jokes and music-based humour, I particularly appreciate the Barmy Army trumpeter’s theme tune for Will Jacks in this match: Hit The Road Jack.

    Am I clutching at straws thinking that the game is still alive at the end of Day three and might yet provide us with an entertaining couple of days cricket, Days 4 & 5?

      1. Joe Root walks like a 70 year old with arthritis in spite of being one of the world’s top cricketers. Discuss.

    1. The simple fact that we wouldn’t rule out out if enough to keep things interesting for a while longer.

  9. The main effect of England’s day 1 pace was to keep Pakistan’s chances of winning this match alive.


    1. I think I’d have Pakistan as marginal favourites at this point, for sure. England seem to be banking on getting some reverse swing, which might change things a bit, but the Pakistan batters are familiar with these conditions and seem capable of pacing themselves to the required total without having to take huge risks.

      England, having made 500 from 75 overs, arguably should be disappointed in their first innings total, but if scoring 650 isn’t enough to get a big first innings lead, then ‘questions have to be asked’ about whether the pitch is the sort of pitch you want to set a relatively low target on.

    2. The main effect of throwing a heavy metal thing further than other people is to keep your own hopes of winning a gold medal alive.


  10. That is how carrot-dangling works in first class cricket, isn’t it? You keep the opposition’s chances of winning alive sufficiently to maximise your own chances of winning and minimise the chances of a draw.

    I’m all in favour of it.

    It stems from confidence – i.e. it makes no sense to do that unless you believe that you are the better side and that you will most likely prevail if the match ends with a result. As it happens, this approach makes for more entertaining cricket too.

    Have I mentioned yet that I’m all in favour of it?

    1. But one of the things we are told affects batsmen is scoreboard pressure, especially being asked to score plenty with no hope of a victory.

      Also, field setting could be a lot different with less time in the match. Depending on the morning session, by lunch we might see all the fielders on the boundary and no hope of an England win.

      1. We suggested to someone that 600 was a good score after two and a bit days but if you were getting bowled out in not much more than a day you probably wanted 700.

      2. Or in other words, if you want to dominate the match batting first the important thing is not the score, it’s batting out the first two days.

  11. 86 runs, five wickets, one session. Or more likely half a session, owing to bad light and stuff.

    You’d have to say that Pakistan have more chance of victory, but it won’t be easy. I think the phrase is, “beautifully balanced.” Both sides have to choose between attack and defence, with the former bringing both increased chances of winning and increased chances of losing.

    Given the awfulness of this pitch, that we have such a brilliant ending is remarkable. So I retract all my previous cynicism about England’s scoring rate, and will happily strangle the first person who says that the declaration was badly timed. Go cricket!

    1. Exciting, this.

      Daisy is glued to test cricket.

      I’m trying to find the right moment to put the kettle on. I won’t get through my 12:00 Zoom without a cuppa in my hand. (It won’t be Tipal Tea and I won’t brush my teeth with Sensodyne. Life’s too short for listening to advertising slogans.)

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