Queenstown (New Zealand), Jan 1 (IANS) New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson struck the fastest ODI century in 36 balls to guide the Black Caps to a massive 159-run win over the West Indies in the rain-curtailed third game of the five-match series against the West Indies at the Queenstown Events Centre here Wednesday.
It took some time for the rain to subside, but once it had the New Zealanders put on one of the most incredible cricketing spectacles in history.
Anderson, who struck an unbeaten 131 off 47 balls, reached the three figures in just 36 balls to break the 17-year-old record of Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who took 37 balls to score a hundred against Sri Lanka in 1996.
Jesse Ryder (104 off 51 balls) also welcomed 2014 in sensational fashion, pummeling the sixth fastest century off 46 balls as New Zealand piled up a huge 283 for four in 21 overs.
West Indies managed 124 for five in 21 overs after Dwayne Bravo remained unbeaten on 56.
Anderson’s brutal innings saw him dazzle his way into the record books on a number of levels, but there was an obvious standout – the fastest century in any form of international cricket.
His brief yet belligerent innings saw him rocket to 50 from 20 balls, yet his then strike-rate of 250 continued to trend upwards. Across two overs he struck five consecutive sixes, as well as four in one Sunil Narine over.
Anderson remained on track and in the 18th over needed to strike a six to claim the record – no problem. He emphatically dispatched Nikita Miller over the rope and celebrated with appropriate exuberance. On what started as a gloomy day for Queenstown, ended with Anderson lighting up all corners of the ground.
Not to be forgotten was the clear message that Ryder signalled – he’s back. The 29-year-old was his explosive best enroute to his extraordinary century, terrorising the West Indies bowlers. His own onslaught included 12 fours and five sixes.
With Ryder in full-flight and Anderson unstoppable, the crowd were in awe as the duo blitzed their way to a New Zealand record fourth wicket partnership of 191 (off 75 balls). Their stand came to an end in the penultimate over when Ryder was eventually caught off the bowling of Jason Holder (2-48).
Anderson though held his bat, finishing unbeaten and able to boast a number of New Zealand records, including most sixes in an innings (14).
Anderson, who finished the New Zealand innings unbeaten on 131, hit 14 sixes in his whirlwind assault, the third highest number of sixes in an ODI innings. India’s Rohit Sharma hit 16 sixes against Australia two months ago and Australia’s Shane Watson struck 15 against Bangladesh in 2011.