Today's bats, especially those carried by international cricketers, are made from some of the highest-quality willows available. As compared to the ones used by the greats of the past, they're larger, badder, and pack a bigger punch, making six-hitting a breeze. However, when it comes to longevity, they just do not compare. Even so, when a bat splits in two when it comes into contact with something, the effect is always dramatic.
When an express pacer bowls a hard ball that hits anywhere near the bottom or the handle of a bat, it's understandable that the bat will split. But a large piece of the bat falling off when a batsman tries to just block the ball, a simple forward push to a 130kph delivery, is almost unheard of.
That's exactly what happened during the second One-Day International between South Africa and Pakistan on Sunday at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Temba Bavuma, the South African captain, pushed forward to defend a delivery from Pakistan pacer Faheem Ashraf, and the back of his bat just came off as he made contact.
The ball was bowled at 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph). Bavuma, of course, needed a replacement, but he, too, seemed to be bit surprised when his bat broke into pieces.
Just look at the incident.
Despite breaking his first-choice bat, Bavuma went on to score a fine 92 off 102 balls in South Africa's 50-over total of 341 for six.
Pakistani opener Fakhar Zaman smashed a world-record-breaking century to give his team a chance to beat the target, but he received little help from the rest of the team.
He was eventually dismissed for 193 off 155 balls, falling seven short of what would have been the first double century in an ODI chase. His 193 is still the highest individual score in ODIs while chasing, but that will only serve as a consolation for Pakistan, who came agonisingly close to achieving the mark before losing by 17 runs.