How many runs can be scored off a single delivery?
Generally speaking, the maximum number of runs that can be scored off a single delivery is six, achieved by hitting the ball over the boundary on the full. However, legend has it that in a match between Western Australia and Victoria in 1894 the ball became lodged in a tree, in sight, but out of reach, and the batsmen completed 286 runs while it was being recovered. More plausible, perhaps, is the 17 runs scored off a single ball by Garry Chapman for Banyule against Macleod in a Grade cricket match at Windsor Park, Victoria, in 1989, when the ball was lost in long grass in the outfield.
Chapman is recognised by Guinness World Records, but in first-class cricket, even Test cricket, instances of eight, nine or ten runs off a single legal delivery are not unknown. In the Test match between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane in 2008, for example, Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds scored four off the bat, all run, plus four overthrows for a total of eight runs. In 1842, in a first-class match between Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and Cambridge University, the Hon. Frederick George Brabazon ‘Fred’ Ponsonby scored nine, all run, off a single delivery on the vast expanse of Parker’s Piece, Cambridge. Ten runs off a single delivery has happened a couple of times in first-class cricket and was recorded most recently by Samuel Hill-Wood for Derbyshire against MCC at Lord’s in 1900.
In 2003, Yorkshire fast bowler Ryan Sidebottom did, effectively, concede 11 runs off a single legal delivery in a first-class match against Glamorgan, but bowled five consecutive wides before being hit for six and retiring hurt.