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Watch: ‘Dancing in the aisles’ pt.1 – The 1992 no-helmet Srikkanth six off ‘world’s fastest’ Patrick Patterson

K Srikkanth hits Patrick Patterson for six at the Adelaide Oval in 1991/92
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: Back in 1992, a bareheaded Kris Srikkanth hit Patrick Patterson, then the fastest bowler in the world, for a staggering six at the Adelaide Oval.

Ahead of the 1992 World Cup, Australia hosted India for a five-match Test series as well as India and the West Indies for the usual Benson & Hedges World Series, where each team played every other team twice before the top two teams met in a best-of-three final.

In the fifth match, in Adelaide, India were up against Curtly Ambrose, then the leader of the West Indies pack; a veteran Malcolm Marshall; the young Anderson Cummins, and the quickest of them all – Patterson. Earlier that winter, Allan Donald had stunned India on South Africa’s international cricket; Waqar Younis was genuinely quick; but with speed guns still a thing of the future, Patterson was often considered the quickest in contemporary cricket.


By the time Ambrose had Ravi Shastri (4 in 22 balls) caught-behind, Srikkanth had stretched India’s score to 27. Now, in the company of Sanjay Manjrekar, he exploded in an array of strokes. By the time he was second out (stumped off Carl Hooper), he had made 82 in 84 balls, with 10 fours and a six on that enormous ground, “Patterson suffering hardest from his aggression” (Wisden Almanack). India were 123 when he fell.

Srikkanth had already surprised all by removing his helmet against the pace quartet. Five years ago, he had been forced to retire hurt after being hit on the face by Wasim Akram. Yet, he continued to play his shots against the fast bowlers with ridiculous ease.

The most outrageous shot came in the 25th over, when Patterson bowled a good-length ball on the off-stump. Srikkanth decided to go for the mid-wicket boundary. While it was not the absurdly long straight boundary in Adelaide, it was not the short square boundary either. And in 1992, the fence counted as the boundary in Australia, even for ODIs.

So clean was the hit that the ball cleared several rows of spectators: it might have cleared the straight boundary as well.

“They are dancing in the aisles,” remarked Tony Greig on air, referring to the handful of Indian fans who had turned up to cheer, while being quick to observe that Srikkanth’s bat did not bear a sponsor’s logo.

India eventually made 262-4. In response, Desmond Haynes (89) and Philo Wallace (52) added 124 for the first wicket, but Kapil Dev (4-54) helped India to a 10-run win.

Watch K Srikkanth’s huge six at Adelaide Oval:

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