Tuesday, July 01, 2008

ODI Tons In 60 Deliveries Or Less

With birthday boy Sanath Jayasuriya racing to the sixth fastest ton in the history of ODI cricket on Monday, we look at his and the five other occasions blitzkrieg batsmen have smashed sub 60-delivery tons...

Responsible: Shahid Afridi
Date: 04/10/1996
Site Of The Carnage: Nairobi
Deliveries: 37
Unlucky Opposition: Sri Lanka

Barely able to sprout facial hair and very short on international experience, the then 16-year-old rookie strode into a batting order that included moustached greats like Saleem Malik, Ijaz Ahmed and Rameez Raja.

With the trio of stalwarts unable to do the job, it was Afridi who stepped up to the plate in his very first international knock. 11 hefty sixes and the obligatory half a dozen fours later, the masses present at the Gymkhana Club Ground were on their feet and applauding the pinch-hitter's epic feat.

Over a decade later it still stands as the quickest ever ODI century; good going for a chap originally called up to the squad as cover for a depleted bowling department.

Responsible: Mark Boucher
Date: 20/09/2006
Site Of The Carnage: Potchefstroom
Deliveries: 44
Unlucky Opposition: Zimbabwe

With the series already decided and plenty of room for experimentation on the cards, Proteas coach Mickey Arthur wrung the changes to his starting XI and tampered with the batting order.

One such shuffle was the Boucher's promotion to number four. Forever pitching in with quickfire half-tons in the lower order, the wicketkeeper-batsman grabbed his opportunity toward the top of the knock with both hands.

The belligerent right-hander bludgeoned 10 biggies, taking a particular liking to the midwicket fence and the 20-or-so rows of spectators beyond. Finishing unbeaten on 147, he walked off with the Man of the Match Award and Man of the Series Award to boot.

Responsible: Brian Lara
Date: 09/10/1999
Site Of The Carnage: Dhaka
Deliveries: 45
Unlucky Opposition: Bangladesh

Against an attack littered with an unsightly plethora of slow bowlers, the living legend took full advantage. With fellow stalwart Shivnarine Chanderpaul dropping anchor at the other end, captain Lara freed his arms from the get-go, racking up three figures before the 20th over had been bowled.

What made his innings that much more masterful was his preference for ground strokes rather than the aerial route, 20 fours versus four sixes a testament to that.

Keen to keep cashing in on a good track, Lara even gave himself a bowl on the day; his very part-time leg-spin bagging him two wickets to wrap up a Man of the Match performance.

Responsible: Shahid Afridi
Date: 15/04/2005
Site Of The Carnage: Kanpur
Deliveries: 45
Unlucky Opposition: India

Almost 10 years since he wowed the cricketing world with his spectacular feat in Nairobi, Afridi again took to a Sub-Continental attack with the utmost of disdain.

No longer an occasional pinch-hitter, he opened the batting and raced to his half-century in 20 deliveries. Slowing things down a smidgen, three figures arrived a mere 25 deliveries later as Pakistan edged ahead in the six-match series.

It was in this clash that Afridi's now renowned nickname 'Boom Boom' was first uttered from the lips of commentator Ravi Shastri... reputedly.

Responsible: Sanath Jayasuriya
Date: 02/04/1996
Site Of The Carnage: Singapore
Deliveries: 48
Unlucky Opposition: Pakistan

Before Afridi rocked up, it was the Sri Lankan icon that held the record for the quickest century in an ODI. In a Singer Cup clash held over two days due to rain, Jayasuriya made Aamer Sohail's team fetch too all corners of neutral ground, The Padang; Sohail himself going for a mammoth 30 runs in one over at the height of The Sanath Show.

The pitch was a belter, with both teams accruing a combined tally of 664 runs on the day. Not to take away from Jayasuriya's heroics though - the only centurion of the match eventually finished with 134, including 11 sixes and 11 fours.

Responsible: Sanath Jayasuriya
Date: 30/06/2008
Site Of The Carnage: Karachi
Deliveries: 55
Unlucky Opposition: Bangladesh

On his 39th birthday and 'beating' Sir Geoffrey Boycott(!) by all of 51 days as the oldest bloke to score an ODI ton, the left-handed entertainer pounded and pulverised a pathetic Tigers team in game nine of the Asia Cup.

16 fours and six maximums (a touch short on the latter for our liking), Jayasuriya had those present at the National Stadium in raptures and Bangladesh at a loss as to where to pitch it next.

Grassed by Alok Kapali shortly after reaching three figures, super Sanath went on to reach 130 before Kapali redeemed himself somewhat with the wicket of the punisher.

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