Shoaib joins cricketing legends with six sixes

The Northern Echo: STAR NAME: Above Shoaib Akhtar, 26, who  scored six sixes playing for Ryton, near  Gateshead. Below, his famous namesake Buy this photo STAR NAME: Above Shoaib Akhtar, 26, who scored six sixes playing for Ryton, near Gateshead. Below, his famous namesake

AMATEUR cricketer Shoaib Akhtar lived every batsman's dream when he hit six sixes in an over.

Mr Akhtar, 26, who plays for Ryton, near Gateshead, in the Northumberland and Tyneside senior league, told his skipper Neil Robinson he thought he could score a century during the team's Division A League Cup tie at Lintz, in Burnopfield, County Durham, on Wednesday night.

Mr Akhtar, of Fenham, Newcastle, whose famous Pakistani namesake played briefly for Durham County Cricket Club, was better than his word as he sent all six balls into the ground's perimeter for 36 runs.

Thanks to his score of 112, Ryton, who won promotion last season, emerged victorious by 12 runs, scoring a total of 179 for four wickets in the 20-over match.

Mr Akhtar, who has played for several clubs since his teens and who works in the family off-licence business, said: "It is a oncein- a-lifetime thing and there are people who will never do it.

"I have had five and four before, but I have never had six. I said to Neil, I'm going for 100', and he started laughing.

"I don't know how to celebrate.

I'm shocked myself. I have always been known to be a big hitter in cup tie cricket, I always like to start hitting the ball."

Mr Robinson, who partnered Mr Akhtar, said: "There were some quite cultured shots as well. They weren't all going in the same direction.

"Shoaib is a good player. He is a big lad and he can't half hit the ball. He can bowl as well, but he hasn't been able to so far because he hurt his ankle playing football.'' Mr Akhtar has played for clubs including Seaham Park, Blackhall and Dawdon in recent seasons.

His achievement in scoring the maximum tally off a single over is rare, even at the top level of cricket.

South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs achieved the feat against the Netherlands in the Cricket World Cup last year and in the Twenty20 World Cup, Indian record-breaker Yuvraj Singh blasted six sixes against England.

India's Ravi Shastri hit a maximum knock for Bombay against Baroda in a domestic match in the 1984 and Sir Garfield Sobers hit six sixes off Malcolm Nash for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan, in the 1968 county championship. The feat has never been achieved in a full Test match.

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