February 13, 1983 — Cairns’ One-Handed Monster:
New Zealand were under the pump at the MCG. 6-44 chasing 303 against Australia. Cairns walked in. First ball, Dennis Lillee struck him on the head. The wise thing to do for a lower-order batsman facing the world’s best fast bowler is to show a little respect. No?
Not when you’re Lance Cairns, father of Chris, and one of the most bad-ass power-hitters in cricket history. Cairns got up, told his partner, “Bugger this, Warren!” and started teeing off.
He hit six sixes in 10 balls. One of them was this one-handed monstrous hit off Lillee which cleared midwicket comfortably.
Remember that the MCG didn’t have today’s small, wimpy boundaries.
This was an astonishing display of power at one of the biggest grounds in the world. Cairns’ 21-ball fifty notwithstanding, New Zealand lost by 149 runs.
April 18, 1986 — Miandad Stuns India:
India were in striking distance of a hard-fought win in the Australasia Cup final in Sharjah when old foe Javed Miandad caught up with them. The game boiled down to Chetan Sharma’s last ball off which Miandad needed to hit a four for the win. Chetan went for the yorker but bowled his second full-toss of the over. Miandad swung it savagely over midwicket for six. This remains one of the greatest games of cricket.
Miandad reaped huge rewards for his unbeaten 116. Psychologically scarred by the blow, India would lose 12 of their next 13 games to Pakistan at this venue.
July 31, 1899 — One Flew Over Lord’s:
England’s Albert Trott was considered among the greatest all-rounders of his time. His finest achievement was taking 8-43 and scoring 38 & 72 on Test debut in Adelaide in 1894-95.
But he is more famous for being the only batsman to clear the Lord’s pavilion with a six. He did this off the bowling of Monty Noble on July 31, 1899.
Despite his huge cricketing gifts, Trott suffered from alcoholism and dropsy. In poverty, he committed suicide aged 41 shortly after writing his will behind a laundry ticket.