QUEENSTOWN: New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson cracked the fastest century in One-Day International (ODI) cricket history on Wednesday as New Zealand thrashed the West Indies by 159 runs in a rain-shortened third ODI.
His whirlwind performance in partnership with Jesse Ryder, who smacked the sixth fastest century of all time in that form of the game, took New Zealand to 283 for four in a match reduced to 21 overs each side.
The West Indies then wilted when faced with a daunting run rate of nearly 13.5 an over and could only manage 124-5 in reply.
The series is now all square at 1-1 with two matches to play.
Anderson – who finished not out 131 – took a mere 36 deliveries to reach his century, beating the previous record set by Shahid Afridi, who needed 37 balls to reach three figures playing for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in 1996. Ryder faced 46 deliveries to reach his ton.
The burly Anderson hit 14 sixes, the third highest in an ODI innings behind Rohit Sharma (16) for India against Australia two months ago and Australia’s Shane Watson (15) against Bangladesh in 2011.
“Some of the batting we saw was once in lifetime stuff and it was great to watch,” said New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum while West Indies skipper Dwayne Bravo stated he was powerless to rein in the batsmen.
“It was a fantastic innings both by Anderson and Ryder. There’s nothing you can do as a captain and bowler when those bats hit the ball so clean and everything goes their way.”
After New Zealand’s outstanding innings, McCullum said he made sure his bowlers raced through their 21 overs to complete the game before the rain returned.
“It would have been an injustice to the innings that we saw if we hadn’t got a game in the end. So it was straight out get through the overs no matter what we had to resort to.”
Afridi hails new ODI century record holder
Pakistan all-rounder Afridi hailed Anderson’s effort but admitted he had never heard of him before.
“I never heard his name and early morning my nephew told me about his feat and I sort of said the first gift of 2014 is my record being broken,” said Afridi.
“But I must say it’s a great achievement and Anderson deserves all the praise. It needs a super effort to score a hundred off 36 balls. Records are meant to be broken and I knew it would be broken some day.”
However, Afridi admitted he had hoped the record would last until he quit the game.
“I sort of wanted this record to stand until I retire because it has been a big pride for Pakistan and for me and whenever my name comes the record is mentioned,” he said.
“Now Anderson’s name will come but I am sure with the advent of Twenty20 cricket, this record will surely be bettered in the future.”
He added that he had always expected West Indian Chris Gayle or Australian David Warner to break the record.