On this day in 2014: Corey Anderson welcomes the new year with a bang
On this day in 2014, Corey Anderson broke Shahid Afridi’s long-standing record for the fastest century in ODI cricket when he smashed an unbeaten 131 off 47 balls against a poor West Indies attack in Queenstown. In a match that was reduced to 21 overs per side after rain, Anderson hit six fours and 14 sixes as New Zealand notched up a gargantuan 283 in their 21 overs. Anderson took 36 balls to reach his century; breaking Afridi’s record by one ball.
Irrespective of the format, this was the-then fastest ever international century (until AB De Villiers bettered it against West Indies in 2015 through his 31-ball ton). Though the grounds in New Zealand are not the biggest, many of Anderson’s hits would have cleared the rope at any stadium across the globe. He slammed 14 sixes, which was only two short of Rohit Sharma’s then-world record of 16, whereas New Zealand’s sixes tally, which stood at 22, was another world record.
Both able southpaws, Anderson and Ryder, were proving hard to distinguish in the middle. Dwayne Bravo inserted New Zealand in what he thought was good bowling conditions, but the Kiwis batted like they were on a different planet. Such was Anderson’s madness that a 46-ball ton (from Jesse Ryder) appeared slow batting! New Zealand finished on a mammoth 283 for 4 off 21 overs, whereas Anderson stood unbeaten at 131 after a 47-ball carnage. His scoring sequence read –
1 dot 4 1 dot 1 6 1 dot 2 1 4 6 1 6 6 dot 6 dot 6 1 dot dot 6 6 6 6 6 1 4 4 1 1 6 6 4 1 2 4 1 6 1 2 2 1, which included streaks of 5 consecutive sixes and 9 sixes in 14 balls. His strike rate (278.7) was easily the highest for any innings above a hundred runs as he bettered Afridi’s 255 during his 40-ball 102 when he slammed a 37-ball ton.
Anderson’s tally of 14 sixes, to this day, remains the third-highest in history. The 191-run partnership between Ryder and Anderson came off a mere 75 balls and the run rate of 15.28 stands second-best to this day for any 150-run-plus ODI partnership. No West Indies bowler was spared, and the bowling card made abysmal reading. Never in ODI history have 5 bowlers finished with economy rates of 10 or more in an innings, however, that day, all 6 used went for more than 10 an over.
The match was a no-contest by the end of the fourth over, with West Indies reeling at 19 for 3. With no other method to approach the chase left, their batsmen tried to go after every ball, only to fall to fielders in the deep and eventually finish at 124/5.