BRADLEY Stoke’s Gareth Price has joined cricket’s most exclusive club after smashing six sixes in an over!
The 46-year-old can now be mentioned in the same breath as a handful of stars such as Sir Garfield Sobers, Ravi Shastri, Herschelle Gibbs and Kieron Pollard thanks to a tremendous display of clean hitting in a North Somerset League Division Four match away to Chilcompton Sports.
The fireworks came in the 25th over which began with Bradley Stoke at 129-1 and Gareth facing home skipper Richard Gillard who, in his previous over, had fellow opener Andy Burrows caught off his leg spin, for 49.
Gareth launched the first delivery over wide mid wicket and followed up with maximums over long on and then slightly straighter over the sight screen.
Ball four was in the same slot and was this time blasted into the sight screen, leaving a hole and creating a shattered piece of plastic he later retrieved as a souvenir.
Gareth said: “It was at this point I realised that I had a chance, and I actually said to the wicketkeeper it would be rude not to at least have a try!”
Ball number five was duly dispatched over long on before Gareth set himself for the moment of truth.
He added: “The final delivery was slightly slower, on off stump, and I smashed it flat over square leg … initially I thought I hadn’t quite got hold of it, and thought it was going to be a one-bounce four, but it managed to clear the boundary by about a metre.”
Gareth’s team-mates were quickly off their feet cheering as that final blow also took the club stalwart to his seventh century – and first since 2013.
He quipped: “I bet no one’s ever got to exactly 100 before with six sixes!”
Bradley Stoke went on to reach 282-4 from their 40, Gareth unbeaten on a career-best 156 off 123 (19 fours, seven sixes) ahead of dismissing Chilcompton for 94 to complete a 188-run success and go second in the table.
He added: “I didn’t really celebrate, there was no punching of the air or anything like that … Chilcompton are a good bunch and I was mindful of them, and I certainly wouldn’t have tried what I did against a youth player.
“I enjoy playing in the 2nds with our young lads, encouraging them as they’re the future of our club, and to be honest I almost got as much enjoyment from the game watching our under-13 leg spinner Sam Kadaba ripping it sideways later on.”
Gareth, who gave a routine chance on about 60, still describes himself as a traditional opener who likes to play himself in, and does not view himself as a big hitter – although plenty may now beg to differ after his fantastic exploits!