Herschelle Gibbs became the first player to hit six sixes in one-day international cricket. Photo: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

JOHANNESBURG – The cricket bat used by Proteas legend Herschelle Gibbs to strike a record six sixes in one over during a World Cup match has been sold on auction in Adelaide, Australia.

Gibbs became the first cricketer to achieve this feat on March 16, 2007 in a one-day international (ODI) during the World Cup in the West Indies.

The hapless bowler was Netherlands spinner Daan van Bunge.

The auction lot, sold for about R300 000 to an anonymous buyer, included the bat, the shirt Gibbs wore and also that of Van Bunge who, whimsically, signed his shirt with the inscription: “They were only small sixes.”

Gibbs, now 44 and retired, has another bat that may end up on auction one day.

On March 12, 2006, he played the best innings of his career while chasing a seemingly impossible total of 434 scored by Australia at the Wanderers.

In the highest successful run-chase in the history of cricket across all the game’s formats, Gibbs scored 175 runs from just 111 balls.

It was then the highest individual score by any player against Australia.

Van Bunge, demolished by Gibbs in 2007, is now 36 and involved in cricket management in the UK.

He was by no means a rookie when he bowled to Gibbs on that fateful day in St Kitts.

He was a respected all-rounder with significant achievements who had the misfortune then to encounter the genius of Gibbs, who, in form, could destroy the reputation of the world’s finest bowlers.

As a member of the Netherlands squad for the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, Van Bunge scored 62 out of a team total of 136 against India, and against England took three of the four England wickets to fall, his victims being Nick Knight, Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff.

Van Bunge’s name appears in another entry in cricket’s record books when in 2004, as a member of the MCC Young Cricketer programme in the UK, he scored a century in just 38 balls – the fastest in the history of any MCC Young Cricketer.

He announced his retirement from international cricket after the 2007 World Cup, but was persuaded to change his mind.

IOL Sport