Mohammad Sami bowled the longest known over in international cricket : There was a disparity in the number of deliveries in an over with Australia following a ‘8-balls’ an over as compared to the rest of the world’s, ‘6-balls’ an over.
However, Australia came to terms with the rest of the world when they gave up their stand and accepted the ‘6-ball’ over theory.
This happened in 1979-80 when Kerry Packer’s Channel Nine took over the responsibility of telecasting Test series in Australia in that season, with the explanation that the shift would give more commercial breaks and rake in more revenue.
However, Pakistan’s Mohammad Sami created a record of sorts by bowling the longest ever over in an international engagement, playing against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup tournament in 2004.
The 12th Match in the tournament was played between Pakistan and Bangladesh on 29th July, 2004, at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.
Winning the toss, Bangladesh under the leadership of Habibul Bashar, elected to bat.
Aided by a well made 54 runs off 94 deliveries by the wicket-keeper, Khaled Mashud and supported by the contributions from Rajin Saleh (23) and Mushfiqur Rehman (21), Bangladesh managed to put up 166 runs in 45.2 overs.
Chasing the target of 167 runs, Pakistan, ‘crossed the line’ in 41 overs, losing only 4 wickets and with 54 deliveries to spare. Shoaib Malik (49), Yousuf Youhana (39) and Imran Nazir (27) were the principal contributors.
However, the third over in Bangladesh’s innings will remain etched in memory for a long period of time.
Mohammad Sami, who had opened the bowling attack and ended his first over with the figure of 1-1-0-1, was entrusted the responsibility of bowling the third over.
Sami went on to bowl as many as 16 deliveries in that over. He gave away as many as 22 runs in that over which included four ‘no-balls’ and seven ‘wide balls’. It also had a couple of boundaries, a ‘two’ and a single.
The sequence of runs scored was as follows: wd,4,2,nb,wd,1,nb,wd,wd,0,wd,nb,wd,wd,nb,4.
As after a wonderful first over in which he picked up the wicket of the opener, Mohammad Ashradul (0) and a disastrous second over, his analysis read 2-1-22-1.
Subsequently in the next 6.2 overs that he bowled, Sami picked up the wicket of Khaled Mashud, giving away another 16 runs in the process.
The final analysis read 8.2-2-38-2 with 5nb and 9w.
Thus the longest known over in an international game was witnessed.