The West Indians found it almost impossible to stop Corey Anderson that day    Getty Images
The West Indians found it almost impossible to stop Corey Anderson that day Getty Images
On January 1, 2014, Corey Anderson slammed the fastest ODI hundred in history. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at an hour of brutal bowler-bashing. Note: A lot of these records have been broken since this article was written, mostly by AB de Villiers. Twenty20 cricket, if anything, have increased the gap between bat and ball more than before. Sri Lanka, for example, had set the tone by amassing 260 for 6 in ICC World T20 2007 against Kenya at New Wanderers still the highest T20I score. In fact, it has been bettered only once in all T20 cricket, when Royal Challengers Bangalore piled up 263 for 5 against Pune Warriors India at Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2013. What about ODIs? We have seen South Africa chasing down after Australia had posted 434 for 4, and Sri Lanka, in pursuit of India s 413 for 5, finishing on 411 for 8. Twice in 2003 had India lost after Australia had posted 359; in 2013 at Jaipur they chased down the same total with 39 balls to spare and 9 wickets in hand. Despite all the madness, however, what happened on New Year s Day, 2014, at Queenstown, was outrageous. It was perhaps the most insane display of bowler-bashing in the history of international cricket: it is not every day, after all, that a 46-ball ton is considered slow batting. West Indies had a good start to the series. Some excellent bowling from Ravi Rampaul, Jason Holder, and Dwayne Bravo had bowled New Zealand out for 156 at Eden Park (they were 112 for 9 before Nathan McCullum added some respect to the total). West Indies, in response, were reduced to 96 for 6 before Darren Sammy s 27-ball unbeaten 43 took them to a 2-wicket victory. With the second ODI at Napier washed out, West Indies reached the picturesque Queenstown after being one-up in the series. It seemed there may be another washout, but the Remarkables and her surroundings soon cleared up. The match was reduced to a 21-over contest. Bravo, perhaps wisely, put the hosts in. He had taken into account the moisture; the small ground was a factor, but it held for both teams, so why not take advantage of the weather? Baz razzmatazz and some more Bravo started with Sunil Narine, and Holder, coming on for the second over, started with an excellent delivery that left Martin Guptill in two minds. The tourists went up in appeal over the next two balls, and the fourth ball took Guptill s edge and went to Denesh Ramdin. First blood. New Zealand 5 for 1 from 10 balls. Brendon McCullum walked out, and unleashed himself; the last two balls of the over disappeared through cover. After Jesse Ryder gave the strike back to him next over, he hit Rampaul for consecutive sixes and a four, reached 24 from 5 balls. Ryder joined in the fun as well, hitting two sixes off Holder, and suddenly the score read 48 off 4 overs. Bravo got Narine back. McCullum hoicked the third ball over the deep mid-wicket fence and tried an encore; Lendl Simmons and Johnson Charles both went for the ball; Simmons kept his cool, avoided the collision, claimed the catch, and slid across the ground, avoiding touching the boundary. It was perhaps the only way to stop a rampant Baz , who fell for an 11-ball 33. Ryder hit Rampaul for 2 fours and a six, but Nikita Miller pulled things back a bit; he even had Ross Taylor caught by Kieran Powell when Taylor had tried to clear long-on. The scoreboard read 80 for 3 in 7.4 overs. Out strode Corey Anderson. He would rewrite history over the next hour. Carnage at Queenstown Anderson started comfortably, punishing a slightly short-pitched ball from Bravo over mid-wicket. Ryder, overshadowed by the McCullum blitz till then, had quietly reached a 21-ball 42 when Taylor fell. Now he took charge, cleared long-off, and brought up his fifty in 23 minutes. That was fast, they thought. Narine came back, and Anderson almost cleared the stadium, smashing one over deep mid-wicket. New Zealand reached 116 from 11 overs. It seemed they may manage 200, or even 225 given the size of the ground. On come Holder: Anderson straight-drove him furiously for four and dismissed him over deep square-leg. He took a single, and Ryder continued the party, smashing boundaries off the next two balls. They scored 19 off that over. Holder fell apart. Bravo continued Narine the man who had flummoxed many a batsman in IPL. His figures, 3-0-26-1, were not impressive, but not as ridiculous as some of the others: the economy rate was under ten, at least. Anderson sat down on one knee and sent the first ball over deep mid-wicket. The one off the second ball was more outrageous: he simply moved outside leg and hit it over long-off; there was no reason for it to cross the fence. The super-bat, the steel forearms, the small ground, and the wind from The Remarkables carried it over. Suddenly frenzy arose among spectators: there was a $100,000 award for anyone who would catch a six one-handed, and with the frequency of sixes, it suddenly seemed possible. Once again Anderson went down on one knee in the fifth ball; this time it went straighter. Narine dropped the last ball short: Anderson flat-batted it over mid-wicket; it barely rose a few feet, but cleared the fence comfortably. Anderson s fifty had taken a mere 20 balls. Bravo s next over seemed almost mundane; there was a solitary six over long-off. Bravo summoned Rampaul: Anderson hit his second ball over deep-cover; the third over the bowler; and the fourth and fifth over mid-wicket; four sixes off consecutive balls was certainly not what Bravo had expected. Anderson (84 from 29) made Ryder (66 from 35) seem almost static in comparison. As the hundred partnership came up (in 42 balls), Rampaul almost laughed in exasperation. Afridi bettered Ryder hit Bravo for three consecutive fours, but fours did not excite anymore. The spectators wanted sixes, though they kept on dropping them with amazing inevitability. What would Bravo do? All his bowlers had gone for runs. He entrusted Simmons with the 17th over. Anderson mistimed the first ball, but it still beat square-leg to the fence; he was nowhere close to the next, but played it almost with one hand. It soared over point for four more. He managed two singles off Simmons over. Anderson was on 95 from 35 balls when Miller started the 18th over. Playing for Somerset against Devon at Torquay in 1990, Graham Rose had slammed a 36-ball 100. Would Anderson equal Rose? More importantly, would he better Afridi s 17-year-old 37-ball feat? Miller came round the wicket. He dropped it short, and it was a shade outside leg-stump. Anderson did not hesitate. Down he went on one knee to clear deep square-leg. Afridi, probably in deep slumber, never got to know that his name was being replaced as the fastest centurion in ODI history. But Anderson had no intention to stop. He hit the next ball for six over long-on to bring up the 150-run partnership in a ridiculous 58 balls. Anderson moved back towards leg, Miller bowled outside off, but Anderson did not care: the furious backfoot slap disappeared over extra-cover for four. They ran a single the next ball, and Ryder finished the over with a four and a six. Miller ended up conceding 27 the most by a West Indian bowler (along with Ian Bishop and Dwayne Smith). Simmons tried to dupe Anderson with a slower delivery when he shuffled across, but he still hit a four over square-leg. Then he gave the strike back to Ryder, who raced to a 46-ball hundred. It remains the only ODI where two men have scored hundreds in less than 50 balls. With 2 overs still left, Anderson bludgeoned Bravo for another six this time over deep extra-cover. Ryder holed out to Miller at point in the last over and Holder restricted them to a mere 8, but that meant New Zealand would finish on a ridiculous 284 for 5 off 21 overs. Anderson finished on a 47-ball 131 not out with 6 fours and 14 sixes. His scoring sequence read 1.41.161.2146166.6.61..6666614411664124161221; it included streaks of 5 consecutive sixes and 9 sixes in 14 balls. Anderson s strike rate read 278.7 the highest for any innings in excess of a hundred (Afridi, with 255 during his 40-ball 102 during his 37-ball 100, held the previous record). His tally of 14 sixes remains the third-highest in history (after Rohit Sharma s 16 and Shane Watson s 15). New Zealand s tally of 22 sixes remains a team record as well. The 191-run partnership between Ryder and Anderson came off a mere 75 balls: the run rate of 15.28 remains the highest for any 150-run ODI partnership, comfortably ahead of the 79-ball unbroken 152 between Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy, who batted at 11.54. No West Indies bowler was spared, and the bowling card made abysmal reading. In fact, never in ODI history have 5 bowlers finished with economy rates of 10 or more in an innings; all 6 West Indies bowlers went for over 10 an over.

Bowler’s name O M R W Econ
Sunil Narine 4 0 50 1 12.5
Jason Holder 4 0 48 2 12
Ravi Rampaul 3 0 64 0 21.33
Nikita Miller 4 0 44 1 11
Dwayne Bravo 4 0 48 0 12
Lendl Simmons 2 0 29 0 14.5

[Note: The only other team for whom four men have gone for over 10 an over has been Bangladesh, in 2007-08 against New Zealand, and at Queenstown. On that occasion New Zealand had chased down 95 in 6 overs without losing a wicket.] Abject submission Whatever chance West Indies had of coming close to the total was lost after three early blows: the experienced Kyle Mills took out Charles in the third ball of the innings; Mitchell McClenaghan removed Simmons and Powell in quick succession; and Chadwick Walton fell to Ryder. All McCullum had to do was to get the 20 overs bowled in time. He got a couple of overs out of Guptill, and held back Adam Milne after giving him a single over. Once the match was decided, he gave Milne another over. West Indies finished with on 124 for 5 with Bravo scoring a 54-ball 56 not out. What followed?  

  – Afridi woke up on New Year s Day to the news of his world record being broken. He had not heard of Anderson when he went to bed the night before, and was only informed by his nephew on New Year s morning. He immediately tweeted a congratulatory message for Anderson. However, when he announced his retirement from ODIs in December 2014, Afridi stated that his only regret was that his record for the fastest ODI hundred does not remain anymore. – New Zealand won by 58 runs after West Indies stumbled during a chase of 286 at Nelson. They finished on 134 for 5 after 33.4 overs (they required 193 to win the match). West Indies came back with a vengeance at Hamilton, scoring 363 for 4 and bowling out the hosts for 160. – Anderson won an IPL contract for Mumbai Indians in 2014. Brief scores: New Zealand 283 for 4 in 21 overs (Jesse Ryder 104, Corey Anderson 131*) beat West Indies 124 for 5 in 21 overs (Dwayne Bravo 56*) by 159 runs. (Abhishek Mukherjee is the Chief Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)