The Fastest Over Ever
Introduction - By Michael - Video - Miscellany

Other online mentions and references to the fastest over ever:

Kingston College: "Heroics against England aren't over yet. Five years later the two teams again meet, this time in the Caribbean. It didn't seem that 13 years had passed since we were huddled over radios as Sobers trapped Boycott lbw for 90 in that Third Test in Barbados on the '68 tour. That same batting technocrat, now armour-clad, is still run-ravenous. He makes his way on to the same ground to open against the West Indies for the 46th time. Little does he suspect that the six deliveries he is about to receive from Holding will be dubbed by many as six of the most testing ever bowled. The resident second slip remembered the sequence: ``The one that bowled him wasn't as quick, but the first five - good God.''

CricInfo: "When England batted, Boycott opened with Graham Gooch, and after an over in which Andy Roberts twice found the edge of Gooch's bat, Boycott prepared to face Holding. What followed left the crowd in raptures and Boycott - and his team-mates - stunned.

"Holding's first ball was a three-quarter-pace loosener which nevertheless rapped Boycott on the gloves and dropped just short of the slips. Each succeeding ball after that was quicker than the previous one. The second beat Boycott outside the off stump, and the third cut back and struck him on the inside of his right thigh. The fourth and fifth both hurried Boycott, but he just about managed to keep them out. "He middled none," wrote Gladstone Holder in The Nation, "but any lesser mortal would have been out." And Ian Botham recalled that Boycott was "jumping about like a jack-in-the-box".

Dumb struck"Then came the final ball, the coup de grace, delivered at a fearsome pace ("It went like a rocket," Boycott recalled), which was pitched up and sent his off stump cartwheeling almost 20 yards as he desperately and belatedly brought his bat down. "The hateful half-dozen had been orchestrated into one gigantic crescendo," wrote Frank Keating. After a momentary silence, the crowd erupted. "Boycott looked round," observed Keating, "then as the din assailed his ears, his mouth gaped and he tottered as if he'd seen the Devil himself. Then slowly he walked away, erect and brave and beaten."

"In the press box there was also a stunned silence. Holder glanced towards the England dressing-room and saw Chris Old "with his mouth wide open ... he too had the look of a man who had seen a monster".

"Boycott spent the rest of the day replaying the sixth ball over and over in his mind, and at the close of play he went to a journalist's room to watch a video of the fateful over. He studied the replays several times before he told them that he had seen what he wanted to see and was going to bed....

"Holding himself explained that he doesn't think the over was his fastest. But in 1990 he was paired with Boycott in the commentary box when they replayed the over. "Nine years on," Holding grinned, "and he didn't enjoy it any more."

Andrew Cracknell, seated in the ground:

Not only was I there, I was sitting at point to Boycott, so I could see the pace - or rather, in the case of the first ball, not see it!
There was always going to be something special about that over as all the previous evening the whole island had been talking about "Holding versus Boycott", Holding versus Boycott". From memory, West Indies were 7 down at close of play so the confrontation was expected fairly early on the second day.
I may be wrong but I don't think Boycott took the first over. I could check but for some reason, maybe romance, I'd rather just rerun the movie in my head. I also know now, having looked at your posted movie, that my recollection that the first ball whistled past Boycott's chin and Murray took it, still rising, over his head - and immediately, he and all five slips moved several yards further back, more than halfway to the boundary - is also incorrect. What I'm sure is correct was the immediate explosion of yelling, jeering, cheering, trumpet blowing, shrieking, and that noise didn't let up for the rest of the over.
I remember the fourth or fifth ball as being a dropped catch at fourth slip, and even from where I was sitting Boycott looked unnerved, almost shocked, the whole over. He didn't look like he'd properly sighted a single ball and there's was an inevitability about his dismissal. And when it came the noise was unbelievable. He just froze - mind you, he hadn't moved much the entire over - and then walked off. Something about his body language told me he was relieved to be out of there.
Nothing in the rest of the innings recaptured the animation, colour, noise and pace of that over. In fact, very little in my cricket watching since has come close.