Fastest hundred possible
It's an equation that any simpleton can compute. Yet, no one has bothered to ask. Few have pondered what would be the fastest hundred imaginable?
Of course the constant is 17. It takes mere seventeen balls of continuous hitting of sixes and albeit a couplet of four runs to complete the sonnet.
Many attempted, but few have come close. Sure there have been seventeen ball fifty by Jayasuria, but a hundred? You gotta be kidding me!
As the format gets shorter and shorter with the noose of constraint ever tightening, here are some look at the ones that are still miles away:
Corey Anderson 36-ball 100
In a rain curtailed match Corey Anderson producing his breathtaking murderous knock. Aptly it took place around the Remarkables mountain range. I was at Sylhet at that time and as I sat in the veranda of my uncle's dak bungalow
a small snippet of news stamped at the corner of the Bangla newspaper struck me. "Old news, " I shrugged away. It was only a moment later that I gathered what just happened mistaking the 36 for Afridi's 37 ball hundred.
Chris Gayle 30-ball 100 in his IPL 175*
Even the jusgernaut of an innings by Chris Gayle couldn't even sniff close to the limit. What did Chris do in seventeen balls? Just score a mere 50!
He would take 30 ball to score the hundred and that is perhaps the record for any fastest hundred in any format of the game. But the jury still awaits about the unknown underkind out there.
Aaron Finch 156
Finch's 100 would come off 47 balls. Still 30 runs short of the magical barrier. This one I witnessed live on TV with my Dad, and next day he'd tell me how all night he visualized himself doing a feat as Finch's or hit six sixes like Gary Sobers or get a first ball bowled wicket. "Dekhaye dite jodi partam." Wish I could show the world how it's done!
'At this age, Dad?' I couldn't help but cheekily suggest.
Sir Viv's record
Sir Vivian Richard's vintage 56 ball 100 will withstand the test of time, but since records are meant to be broken I wouldn't be surprised at all if this one gets shattered too.
Bradman's Blackheath murder
Bradman's page waxes great paeans about his frenzy at Blackheath and rightly so. For this one is the one where he bludgeoned a 100 in just 22 balls.
It was played at Blackheath against a Lithgow XI. As Bill B2lack came to bowl at Bradman, this would be the result over the next three overs:
1st Over 6 6 4 2 4 4 6 1 (33)
2nd Over 6 4 4 6 6 4 6 4 (40)
3rd Over 1 6 6 1 1 4 4 6 (27) & 2
Never mind the fact they were eight-ball overs each. If anyone doubted Bradman's big hitting capability, then it would've been put to rest. Bradman who is known for mostly hitting ground shots would go on to make 256 runs with 14 sixes and 29 fours.
Bradman would later write that it was purely by accident that it happened and it was not pre-planned and everyone was surprised at the outcome even himself.
The fastest 100 that never was
For the off record stats Martin Williamson takes us back to the days of O'Shaughnessy and Graeme Fowler. While O'Shaughnessy would race away to his century in just 35 minutes, it was Graeme Fowler who would make the world record as Lanchashire reached to 190 for noguht: hitting ten consecutive sixes!
In the movie Good Will Hunting
, when the mathematical prodigy played by Matt Damon's character is about to throw away his works, a Fields Medal winner, Professor Lambeau laments:
Most days I wish I'd never met you 'cause then I could sleep at night. I didn't have to walk around with the knowledge that there was someone like you out there.
In cricket we are told to be humble and not let the records get to our heads. Because...just like the movie's unknown talent, for all we know, the next Roger Bannister of cricket is still out there playing freely somewhere...