Fastest centurion: As the entire cricketing world has been going gala with the way Devon Conway made a rippling debut at Lords, smashing a blistering double-hundred, propelling New Zealand to a rollicking 378 in the first innings we will be celebrating one of the most magical figures in the international cricketing canon.
A century is always special to a batsman. It is not just about the herculean figures next to one’s name but the persistence, the diligence and the determination that one shows in the long run to reach the magical figures. It gets even more special when one tends to blast them with great speed.
In a Q+A session on Twitter, Bharath Seervi, former cricket statistician at ESPN Cricinfo compiled a list of the quickest centurions from every single country. We will delve a bit deeper and bring to you the exact situation that prevailed and how important of a knock was carved by the icon at the other end.
South Africa – Abraham Benjamin De Villiers – 31 balls
This was an act of slaughter of the poor Caribbean bowlers that saw three of the top-order Proteas batsmen making merry against a slippery display from the bowlers. Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw spearheaded the charge until the 38th over that saw South Africa garnering 247 runs. The next 11.3 overs saw the hosts amassing 191 runs, a staggering record even in the context of T20 cricket. The man who paved the path for such a ruthless onslaught was AB De Villiers who whacked the bowlers into every single nook and cranny of the park as he notched up his century in just 31 balls. He went on to stay unbeaten as he finally finished his knock at 149 from 44 balls, cementing South Africa’s first innings score at 439 for the loss of 2.
New Zealand – Corey Anderson – 36 balls
A rain dampened game that usually was to test the spirit of the batters given the bedraggled situations and the unpredictability of the surface, turned into a run-fest as New Zealand hammered a staggering 283 from 21 overs. Jese Ryder was off to a fiery start that saw him clobbering the bowlers mercilessly. He gathered his century in just 50 balls and the fans believed that they had seen the last of such mindless blitzkrieg. However, it was just the platform of something even more incredible as Core Anderson stepped out to bat. He blew the West Indians away without any mercy and in the process clattered the long-standing record of Shahid Afridi, a figure that seemed impregnable at the time of creation. Anderson smashed his century in just 36 balls and went on to add 31 runs more from the next 11 deliveries as he scored a whopping 131 from just 47 balls.
Pakistan – Shahid Afridi – 37 balls
This record penned by Afridi stood the test of time unless T20 cricket brought out the most damaging avatars of the batters. He took on the Sri Lankan bowlers single-handedly and consigned them to some severe damage alongside another blistering knock from Saeed Anwar. All it took him to impose the damage was a paltry 37 balls, a feat absolutely incredulous in the time that it was scored. As these two hammered their way through glory, Pakistan smashed a staggering 371.
West Indies – Brian Lara – 44 balls
The West Indian virtuoso, Brian Lara was at his screaming best as he hammered a 44-ball ton to sink an already wretched Bangladeshi outfit. As he opened the innings with Sherwin Campbell, Lara blasted a blistering ton, imposing a titanic onslaught upon the hosts. Lara stitched together a 44-ball century that saw him clubbing 18 fours and 4 sixes. He slowed down a bit after completing his century and finally got dismissed for 117 from 62 balls.
England – Jos Buttler – 46 balls
Currently one of the most dominating English batters, Jos Buttler also holds the record for smashing the fastest English century. Buttler whacked an incredible ton against Pakistan as he managed to garner his century from just 46 balls. Pakistan found itself at the receiving end after the English wicket-keeper clubbed 10 fours and 8 sixes. Riding on Buttler’s and Roy’s centuries, England piled up 355 runs, batting first.
Sri Lanka – Sanath Jayasuriya – 48 balls
The man who changed the face of white-ball batting within the first fifteen overs, Sanath Jayasuriya took the Pakistani pace and swing experts for a toss so astronomical that it left them reeling under austere situations. He started the onslaught right from ball one and amassed his century within just 48 balls. He blasted 11 fours and 11 sixes. He hung in there for a little more as he scored 134 runs from only 65 deliveries, propelling Pakistan to a mammoth total.
Ireland – Kevin O’ Brien – 50 balls
One of the biggest upsets of the 2011 World Cup was led by the sheer domination from Kevin O’ Brien as he wrecked the English bowling army with a knock so stinging that it left them hurt. Kevin O’Brien blasted a 50-ball century after an initial destabilization that saw the English batters tumbling left and right. Chasing a total of 328, Ireland was reduced to 111 for 5 that signaled another impending defeat for the Irish army. However, Kevin O’Brien and Alex Cusack changed the course of the game completely as they stitched together a 162-run stand. The destructor-in-chief for Ireland was Kevin O’Brien. With 13 fours and 6 sixes, O’Brien continued the onslaught with John Mooney after Cusack was dismissed. He finally managed to gather 113 runs from just 63 balls before getting dismissed.
Australia – Glenn Maxwell – 51 balls
Maxy is one of the most dynamic cricketers to have graced Australia. It was his sheer brutality in the Pool A match of the 2015 World Cup against Sri Lanka that saw him becoming the Australian to smack the fastest century in the shorter version of the sport. He came in to bat in the 33rd over and started a storm so menacing that left the Sri Lankans out of gas. He hammered ten 4’s and four 6’s en route to his 102. He reached the milestone of the century on the 51st delivery.
India – Virat Kohli – 52 balls
Even when the 21st century started, 300 used to be a monumental score to chase down and who would have thought that a target of 360 would have been chased down in 43.5 overs. Yes, India made it possible as they chased down such as astronomical total with Kohli and Rohit leading the charge. Sharma and Dhawan were off to a blinder that was followed by even brighter pyrotechnics that sank the Australian hearts. Virat whacked his century in just 52 balls and stayed unbeaten alongside Rohit Sharma to secure a remarkable victory.
Bangladesh – Shakib Al Hasan – 63 balls
One of the best all-rounders of the world, Shakib laid waste to the Zimbabwean bowling line-up with an incredible brand of aggression that saw him hammering an incredulous century in just 63 balls. Despite a persistent battle by Zimbabwe, Bangladesh came up trumps, thanks to disciplined bowling in the end. Coming out at number four, Hasan hammered 9 fours and 4 sixes to sink a hapless Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan – Karim Sadiq – 72 balls
It was against the Netherlands that Karim Sadiq from Afghanistan managed to chronicle this incredible feat for his country. He took 72 balls to stitch together an incredible century that helped the Afghans to win the game comprehensively. Karim could only last up to his century that saw him smacking 12 fours and 4 sixes.
Zimbabwe – Brendan Taylor – 79 balls
Brendan Taylor is the only one on the list whose fastest century was in a losing cause as Zimbabwe had to assuage themselves with a defeat after coming menacingly close to a mammoth total of 332. They were left adrift by just 6 runs as Ireland walked away with the bragging rights. Zimbabwe’s fightback was spearheaded by Brendan Taylor as he scored a century from just 79 balls that finally culminated in a 91-ball-121, propelling the Rhodesians to a brilliant 326.
Fastest ODI 100s for each team:
SA – ABD (31 balls)
NZ – C Anderson (36)
Pak – Afridi (37)
WI – Lara (44)
Eng – Buttler (46)
SL – Jayasuriya (48)
Ire – K O’Brien (50)
Aus – Maxwell (51)
Ind – Kohli (52)
Ban – Shakib (63)
Afg – Karim Sadiq (72)
Zim – B Taylor (79)#AskSeervi https://t.co/R03GsiGRJM
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) June 2, 2021