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Fastest Centuries in One Day International Cricket

Savio is a resident of Mumbai, India. Cars, bikes, and everything fast are his passion, and he writes about them on many sites.

What Game is Cricket?

World's Largest Cricket Stadium at Motera

World's Largest Cricket Stadium at Motera

Well, that's a question you don't ask the countries in the Indian subcontinent or Australia, Middle East and Africa. But for folks from Europe and the Americas, Cricket is a relatively new game. As per Wikipedia, this is the description of Cricket.

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player (so they are "out")

Drawing an analogy, Cricket is similar to Baseball, visually. The rules are very different, but since we are talking about batsmen, we will limit the comparison to the batters in Baseball.

In case of Baseball, the batters are supposed to touch each base (in a diamond form) to score a run, whereas, in Cricket, batsmen can run between two sets of stumps, or score a 4 or 6 runs by hitting the ball out of the boundary line. Bats in Baseball are made of wood or metal, with Aluminium being the preferred metal, whereas in Cricket it is only wood. Well, that's about the primary comparison between the two batters.

Now, when it comes to Cricket, one of the measures is the number of balls that a batsman has faced to score his runs. A century or 100 runs is a milestone in a batsman's career batting record, and therefore, to measure how fast a century has been scored is a fun way to look at the most explosive batsmen in Cricket.

So, let's get to know these explosive batsmen out there.

Onwards to the list.

List of Fastest Centuries in One Day Internationals

Each of the Batsman and their achievements are discussed below.

BatsmanBalls Taken for Century

Abraham Benjamin de Villiers [RSA]

31

Corey James Anderson [NZ]

36

Shahid Khan Afridi [PAK]

37

Mark Verdon Boucher [RSA]

44

Brian Charles Lara [WI]

45

Shahid Khan Afridi [PAK]

45

Jesse Daniel Ryder [NZ]

46

Joseph Charles Buttler [ENG]

46

Sanath Teran Jayasuriya [SRI LA]

48

Joseph Charles Buttler [ENG]

50

1. A B de Villiers | South Africa

fastest-centuries-in-one-day-international-cricket

A.B. is a well-known name in the world of cricket, and those viewers watching the Indian Premier League (IPL) would know him well for his explosive batting. One such outing in an international match, fans witnessed A.B. in carnage mode. He butchered the opposition so bad that all their bowlers appeared like club players and not international ones. His innings brought up the century in the least number of balls.

Here are his stats:

  • Batsman: Abraham Benjamin de Villiers
  • Country: South Africa
  • Balls for Century: 31
  • Total Score: 149 Runs in 44 Balls
  • Opponents: West Indies
  • Record Created Year: 2015
  • Career Status: Active/Playing

Here is the video of A.B. bludgeoning the opposition:

Needless to say, South Africa won that match quite easily. His innings record also includes the fastest 50 which de Villiers got in 16 balls and the joint highest number of sixes – 16 in total. What was outstanding about the innings was that A. B. came near the fortieth over and hit 149 before the innings ended by the fiftieth over. He was there for just ten overs, faced less than eight overs worth of balls and took away the initiative from the opposition. I am sure that the bowlers would still be having nightmares about that innings!

2. Corey Anderson | New Zealand

fastest-centuries-in-one-day-international-cricket

Corey Anderson was the first to break the long-standing record for fastest hundred created by Shahid Afridi in 1999. The record was unbroken for eighteen years until Corey arrived at the scene. He ended up bettering Shahid’s number by just one ball. It was an outstanding inning.

Here are his stats:

  • Batsman: Corey James Anderson
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Balls for Century: 36
  • Total Score: 131 Runs [not out] in 47 Balls
  • Opponents: West Indies
  • Record Created Year: 2014
  • Career Status: Active/Not Playing (Injuries)

Here is the video of Corey Anderson going berserk:

The thing about this match was that it was rain-curtailed. So, a fifty over game ended up becoming a twenty-one over match. In other words, it turned out to be a T20 match. But the overall score as much as Corey’s innings was mammoth enough to put the best of a T20 match to shame.

3. Shahid Afridi | Pakistan

fastest-centuries-in-one-day-international-cricket

The year 1996 was a year of records for the fastest centuries. Few matches back (in 1996), Sanath Jayasuriya had hammered the Pakistani bowlers to make the quickest century and humiliate them. Ironically, it is against the same Sri Lankan side that Shahid Afridi unleashed his monster self and made his fastest. In a way, it was payback time.

Here are Shahid’s stats:

  • Batsman: Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi
  • Country: Pakistan
  • Balls for Century: 37
  • Total Score: 102 Runs in 40 Balls
  • Opponents: Sri Lanka
  • Record Created Year: 1996
  • Career Status: Inactive/Retired

And if the stats aren’t enough, have a look at him going ballistic:

This was a match where Pakistan had to win to qualify for the next round and beating Sri Lanka back then was a difficult task. They were the world champions that year and were destroying all their opposition to smithereens, winning match after match. In light of these facts, Shahid’s ton was even sweeter, considering that it came against a strong opponent.

Lastly, Shahid took eleven balls lesser than Sanath Jayasuriya to hit his century. Sweet!

4. Mark Boucher | South Africa

fastest-centuries-in-one-day-international-cricket

Mark Boucher was one of the finest wicket-keeper batsmen from South Africa. As he played his unbeaten innings against Zimbabwe in 2006, the fastest century tag belonged to just three players who had achieved it four times in less than 50 deliveries. Of course, the record wouldn’t have been on his mind as much as the need to put up a good score. But then he ended up creating a record which was the second-fastest ton back then in 2006.

  • Batsman: Mark Verdon Boucher
  • Country: South Africa
  • Balls for Century: 44
  • Total Score: 147 Runs [not out] in 68 Balls
  • Opponents: Zimbabwe
  • Record Created Year: 2006
  • Career Status: Inactive/Retired

Here are Mark Boucher’s few shots en route to his century:

Interestingly, this was Mark’s maiden century and that it came in so fast was commendable. To the opposition’s credit, they did were close to getting his wicket at six times during the innings. That said, he remained unfazed and unbeaten at the end.

5. Brian Lara | West Indies

fastest-centuries-in-one-day-international-cricket

Brian Lara was one of the best batsmen in the game of cricket. He has several recognitions across the ICC and Wisden intelligentsia spanning all forms of cricket. Just when we thought that the best in the game, usually, weren’t ruthlessly fast, Brian Lara came and broke that mould. Not only does he have a brilliant cricketing mind but also the knack to score superfast. Out of the many records which have Lara’s name, here is one more.

Take a look at the stats of his fastest century:

  • Batsman: Brian Charles Lara
  • Country: West Indies
  • Balls for Century: 45
  • Total Score: 117 Runs in 51 Balls
  • Opponents: Bangladesh
  • Record Created Year: 1999
  • Career Status: Inactive/Retired

Bangladesh had no response to Lara’s onslaught and two bowlers did not bowl after they were hammered early on. The master was so ruthless that Bangladesh had to get few of their batsmen to bowl as part-time bowlers. His innings helped West Indies reach 315 overall which was a big score back in 1999. West Indies won that match pretty comfortably.

6. Shahid Afridi | Pakistan

fastest-centuries-in-one-day-international-cricket

Shahid Afridi is one of only two cricketers to be appearing on this list twice, and that goes to show you how explosive he was. By the time he hit the fastest century the second time in 2005, he was still holding the record. In other words, he was the king of big and fast-hitting at that time. Once again the opposition got blown away by his batting. The knock came against India, Pakistan’s arch-rivals in cricket.

Here are his butchering stats:

  • Batsman: Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi
  • Country: Pakistan
  • Balls for Century: 45
  • Total Score: 102 Runs in 46 Balls
  • Opponents: India
  • Record Created Year: 2005
  • Career Status: Inactive/Retired

And take a look at Shahid disposing-off the Indian attack:

By the time he was done, it was amply clear that the match was already in Pakistan’s kitty. Also, his propensity to come up with explosive innings almost every single time he went out, earned him the knick-name “boom boom”. Yes, so that’s Shahid Boom Boom Afridi for you.

7. Jesse Ryder | New Zealand

fastest-centuries-in-one-day-international-cricket

In a list dominated by Pakistanis and South Africans, here is another New Zealander. Incidentally, it is once again the West Indies against whom the fastest century came. Jesse came in at the beginning of the innings and started hitting boundaries from the first ball. From there, he took the initiative and never looked back.

Here are his butchering stats:

  • Batsman: Jesse Daniel Ryder
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Balls for Century: 46
  • Total Score: 104 Runs in 50 Balls
  • Opponents: West Indies
  • Record Created Year: 2014
  • Career Status: Inactive/Retired

And take a look at Ryder’s willow work:

This particular match was the same one where Corey Anderson got his fastest 100 as well [number 2 on the list]. Can you imagine that? Jesse and Corey getting their respective fastest 100s in just 21 overs? That kind of innings has hardly happened. In the above clip, you can also see Corey partnering Jessey at the fall of the fourth wicket. Besides, these two created a record partnership of 191 for New Zealand eclipsing the previous best of 190.

All I can say is - poor West Indians!

8. Jos Buttler | England

fastest-centuries-in-one-day-international-cricket

Jos happens to be one of the few English batsmen to have a knack for exploding almost any time. This particular record fastest 100 came at a time when England needed to win the series against Pakistan. It was the right knock at the right time.

Here are his stats:

  • Batsman: Joseph Charles Buttler
  • Country: England
  • Balls for Century: 46
  • Total Score: 116 Runs in 52 Balls
  • Opponents: Pakistan
  • Record Created Year: 2015
  • Career Status: Active/Playing

Did you know that Jos has a long list of fastest hundreds? He has one against New Zealand in 61 balls and one against Sri Lanka in 66 balls. And that is not all. He appears on this list once again in the tenth spot. How fast is this guy? You can only hope that you are not the opposition when Jos is in a mood to wreak havoc.

9. Sanath Jayasuriya | Sri Lanka

fastest-centuries-in-one-day-international-cricket

Here is the original batting terminator. Sanath Jayasuriya was the first to start pelting bowlers all around the ground. Many before him could hit the bowlers well, but none as good as Sanath, He could not only have clean hits but also make runs quick. It was a treat to watch Sanath play, only if he is not playing against your country. There were hardly any bowlers around the time who had an answer to Sanath’s style of batting.

Here are his stats:

  • Batsman: Deshabandu Sanath Teran Jayasuriya
  • Country: Sri Lanka
  • Balls for Century: 48
  • Total Score: 134 Runs in 65 Balls
  • Opponents: Pakistan
  • Record Created Year: 1996
  • Career Status: Inactive/Retired

And see the golden arm in action:

What was interesting about this knock was that Jayasuriya hit the runs against some quality bowling of Saqlain Mushtaq, Waqar Younis and others. Truly a sensational knock!

Despite not holding on to his record for too long, as Shahid Afridi bettered it in the same year, nobody could take away Sanath’s brand of cricket. It was second to none, and he was one of the few batsmen who knew to stay at the crease for long despite being aggressive. So, in a way, it is great to see him on the list, but we need to remember, he was the original “Terminator” of the cricketing world.

10. Jos Buttler | England

fastest-centuries-in-one-day-international-cricket

Jos seems to have a liking for two things – one, to hit the fastest centuries and two to do it against Pakistan. All of the matches that were played against Pakistan in 2019 were high scoring, and in the second ODI particularly, Jos dismantled the opposition.

Here are his butchering stats:

  • Batsman: Joseph Charles Buttler
  • Country: England
  • Balls for Century: 50
  • Total Score: 110 Runs [not out] in 55 Balls
  • Opponents: Pakistan
  • Record Created Year: 2019
  • Career Status: Active/Playing

Take a look at Jos in action:

Note: Watch from 1:27 minutes to 2:30 minutes to see Jos Buttler’s knock.

To Pakistan’s credit, they did put up a good fight, but England ended up on the winning side. What was unseen of Buttler’s knock was that he made his fifty in thirty-two balls and took just eighteen more balls to bring up the second fifty. That was mighty fast and helped England put up a good score.

So, with Jos, we end our fastest century list, and I hope readers enjoyed going through them.

Back to the Dressing Room

With the T20 era in place, keep watching this space as more batsmen may enter the list, not to mention, the possibility of even faster hundreds. Technically, the quickest hundred that can be hit is in seventeen balls with the batsman hitting a six in each shot. Of course, that is the ideal scenario and may never happen.

But then never say never!

© 2020 Savio Koman

Comments

Savio Koman (author) from Mumbai, India on August 05, 2020:

Yeah, Jayasuriya was a big hitter and I used to be so upset when the Indian bowlers used to be butchered by him.. :) I think only Sir Vivian Richards was better with a swag that no other batsman had. I will soon be writing on centuries in test and Sir Viv should be on that list.

Thanks for stopping by, MG! :)

MG Singh emge from Singapore on August 04, 2020:

I enjoyed this article I remember Jaisuryia's hitting sixers. Cricket is a great game

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