It’s the stuff dreams are made off, hitting six 6s in an over. Recently it happened for a very promising Kiwi teen. Glenn Phillips playing for the Marylebone Cricket Club against the Duke of Norfolk XI at Arundel struck 36 off one over, on his way to a double century.
The 19-year-old finished with 201 not out off 123 balls, as the MCC scored 299 for five before declaring.
It was the first time anyone had ever hit six 6s in an over at the ground,which sits alongside Arundel Castle in West Sussex in the south of England, and has hosted cricket matches since 1895.
Phillips concedes getting into a hitting frenzy like he did was somewhat of a blur.
“I don’t remember the name of the bowler, but he used to play first class cricket as an off spinner. He is now retired and playing for the enjoyment of the game. He was an off spinner with a fair few tricks up his sleeve from his years of experience. I hadn’t faced him before other than about four overs earlier. Up until that over I couldn’t hit him to save myself, but when you’re given an over before you retire, something clicks and the ball just starts hitting the middle every time. I don’t recall him saying much other than ‘well played’. There were a few bemused laughs exchanged though.”
Phillips says the pitch was “very nice” for batting despite being on the “slow side.” The boundaries ranged in size from 60-70m and his most common area of hitting was between straight mid wicket and square leg.
Which six was his favourite and why?
“Probably the first one as it was the cleanest and the biggest of the lot. I didn’t have the idea of hitting every ball for six at that point so it was more a case of good timing. After the third one I decided to go for the six sixes and really just muscled the rest over the rope,” he says.
Phillips is no one hit wonder. His form leading into the innings was strong.
“At first I really struggled to adjust to English conditions. I found I wasn’t watching the ball closely enough. When I started watching the ball, things started to get better. I hit a patch of form leading up the 6 sixes innings. I scored a hundred for my club and three scores over 50,” Phillips explains.
Phillips was born in East London, South Africa and moved to New Zealand when he was five years old. His family relocated for personal reasons and it proved to be a wise decision as Phillips become one of the leading age group cricketers in the country at Sacred Heart College, Auckland.
He made the First XI in Year 9 and scored his debut century against St. Bede’s College a season later. His top score was 231 off 142 balls and he was the leading run-maker for the First XI for three consecutive seasons, the only person to ever achieve this feat at Sacred Heart. Phillips scored centuries in his last two matches for the College and subsequently earned selection for Auckland and the New Zealand U19′s. Phillips has already made a one-day century for Auckland.
This year Phillips is involved with the MCC young cricketers program, a program Martin Crowe and Ross Taylor were also a part of. Phillips explains how the chance arose to take part.
“New Zealand cricket have quite a strong relationship with the MCC and each year they send over one New Zealand player to play for the MCC at a 2nd XI level of cricket. This year Bob Bob Carter approached me and offered me the chance to play for the MCC and I of course said yes. It’s an amazing chance to learn and grow in an overseas environment both with cricket and with life.”
Phillips identifies his dad ex Black Caps Dipak Patel, Andre Adams and Bryan Young and Auckland coaches Nick White and Mark O’Donnell as his leading mentors.
St Hilda’s Collegiate won their first National Secondary Schools' Girls cricket title last week. Here is an account from the Otago Daily Times and some additional stats illustrating this fine achievement.
St Hilda’s Collegiate coach Neil Rosenburg reckons this year’s group is the best team he has coached in his 20 years at the school.
And it is hard to argue with him after the team won the national girls secondary school title for the first time yesterday.
It won all five matches and that was "pretty good to be fair", Rosenburg said.
"Five from five was a great result. The girls have benefited enormously from Otago Cricket’s accelerator programme through the winter.
"They have really just taken their game to another level. We’ve been to the finals five years in a row and we are really rapt that it was so comprehensive."
Sparks player Bella James captained the side and, not only led superbly, but was the competition’s leading scorer with 191 runs at an average of 38.20.
"[Bella] is a legend. She is in the Sparks and has just benefited from being with Katey [Martin], Suzie [Bates] and Morna [Nielsen] so much.
"We are really proud of Bella."
The Heffernan twins, Kate and Georgia, played starring roles as well. Kate was the second-leading scorer with 155 runs at 38.75 and the joint-leading wicket-taker with eight wickets at an average of six — yes, six. Georgia took six wickets at 8.17.
They bowled in tandem at the top for St Hilda’s and proved a formidable duo.
"They’ve been great. They bowl three overs each at the top and teams are finding themselves one or two down for not many. But we’ve got nine bowlers and at school girls cricket that is just unheard of."
"[The Heffernans] bat three and four and they know each other’s game so intuitively. It is poetry in motion. They take two or three strides and they are down the wicket."
St Hilda’s opened the tournament with wins against Palmerston North Girls’ High School and Tauranga Girls’ College on Friday.
Olivia Gain scored 72 not out to help her side beat Cashmere High School by 83 runs on Saturday and, later in the day, Georgia Heffernan took five for 11 to help beat Epsom Girls’ Grammar School by 52 runs.
Yesterday, St Hilda’s beat Tawa College by eight-wickets to seal the title. Kate Heffernan took four for 15 and James top-scored with 40.
St. Hilda's Results (20 Over Matches)
St. Hilda's: 102/8 (Isabella James 34, Grace Minnis 3/7) beat Palmerston North GHS: 68/8 (Sally Wenham 20, Eden Carson) by 34 runs
St. Hilda's: 178/4 (Isabella James 83, Kate Heffernan 64) beat Tauranga GC: 99/2 (Nensi Patel 44, Georgia Heffernan 1/6) by 79 runs
St. Hilda's: 158/2 (Olivia Gain 72) beat Cashmere High School: 75/7 (Isla McKenzie 17, Eden Carson 3/10) by 83 runs
St. Hilda's: 123/7 (Georgia Heffernan 34, Gemma Adams 2/15) beat Epsom Girls Grammar: 71(Amie Hucker 40, Georgia Heffernan 5/11) by 52 runs
Tawa College: 84/5 (Phoenix Williams 33, Kate Heffernan 4/15) lost to St. Hilda's: 85/2 (Isabella James 40) by 8 wickets.
It was April 2010 when as a struggling university graduate in Wellington attempting to make a breakthrough in sports journalism, I received a surprising and life-changing email from Martin Crowe, the New Zealand cricket great.
At this time Martin was head of programming for the Rugby Channel. He offered me a job, albeit a small one.
I did not believe it; I thought it was hair loss spam! I cover drove the correspondence into the recycle bin without even opening it!
Twenty minutes later I received a phone call from Keith Quinn. Keith was a former neighbour, a mentor, a second father. He asked me if I had received an email from Martin Crowe. Keith was horrified to hear I had deleted it!
Martin offered to pay me $75 a week (under the table). I was to provide an email that documented brief information about each schools’ broadcast on the newly conceived Land Rover First XV programme. I did not even have the Rugby Channel !However on Keith’s recommendation I got the channel and took the task very seriously.
Eventually I saved enough money to pay my way to the National Top Four in Rotorua and I stayed in a backpackers’ across the road from the Millennium Hotel where my Sky colleagues resided.
In 2011 Martin offered me the chance to run a Sky website and social media page on College Rugby. Although I had no experience at all in this field, with Martin’s guidance and plenty of trial and error, I have managed to build an audience and make an enjoyable living for myself for at least six months of the year.
Martin was a boss for whom I held enormous respect .He was intelligent, honest, passionate, generous, accessible and driven. He did not expect one hundred per cent, he expected one hundred and ten per cent. Martin resented slackers of any kind.
His feedback was constant,constructive and fair. This is something that is often absent in the narcissistic business of television.
Martin was receptive to new ideas.
Towards the end of 2011 I wrote Martin a letter suggesting that I do a road tour of New Zealand to research the history of First XV rugby. I wanted to become a credible authority on the subject. Crowe said yes!
I travelled from Whangarei to Gore. I documented feats of greatness in schoolboy rugby. I not only made some great friends, but also liberally spent on taxi chits and hotel mini bars. There is no chance I would get such a scheme past the pen-pushers now!
The statistical pop ups you see on all rugby coverage is something that Martin and I dreamed up. They are hardly revolutionary; they are a subtle difference that make the coverage of the game a little more interesting.
For two years and in a break with traditional, the National Top Four final, instead of being played at a neutral venue two days after the semi-finals, was played a week later at one school’s home ground. This fabulous idea was conceived by Martin. He believed the final should be a showpiece event played at a venue with relevance to the two competing schools.
In 2013 Hamilton Boys’ High School hosted St. Kentigern College. At the same time Auckland was playing Waikato in the ITM Cup at Waikato Stadium. More people attended the schoolboy game than the professional game. Unfortunately the grand final idea was discarded by the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rugby Council.
Martin built a great camaraderie with the commentary team. He shouted drinks and food and at the end of the season, presents. I have a signed copy of Sir John Graham’s book in my collection as proof.
On one occasion I shouted Martin a ticket to a Roger Water performance of The Wall at Vector Arena. He loved Pink Floyd; he hated the Oxygen Seats. This might explain the pay rise I received not long after the gig.
Occasionally Martin could be a hard and unpredictable taskmaster. One day I received an email in large font that simply said FIX IT! I had no idea what he was talking about. I made a phone call to find out and received a torrent of abuse about trivial infractions followed by a sudden dial tone. A week later I was offered an expenses paid trip to the Grammar vs King’s match in Auckland. I often watch the games on TV.
In 2012 at the Top Four, Land Rover supplied a most extraordinary sponsor’s vehicle. It was an ostentatious jeep. With a press of a button the jeep parked itself! One night after a few ales, we discovered the GPS system could repeat almost anything we said in multiple languages. In good nature of course I was ridiculed in Italian, French, Spanish and maybe Hebrew. I thought it was hysterically funny so I tried a wisecrack myself. I asked the GPS to say ‘caught Tillerkaratne bowled Ranatunga’ the combination that foiled Martin when on 299. Bad mistake! You could hear a pin drop. Back at the hotel Martin stormed off to bed. The next morning he shouted me breakfast. Martin was very sensitive, but his heart was always in the right place.
Martin it was a pleasure to bat on your wicket and share a small partnership with you.
Martin you are an inspiration.
Martin I raise my bat to you.
Rest in Peace Boss.
By Adam Julian
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand