Shahid Afridi Corey Anderson AB de Villiers © Getty Images & AFP
From left: Shahid Afridi, Corey Anderson, and AB de Villiers — the record-holders © Getty Images & AFP

By CricketCountry staff

As we go gaga over AB de Villiers’ record-breaking 31-ball hundred against West Indies at Johannesburg, let us recall the other two One-Day International (ODI) hundreds scored in less than 40 balls. A teenage Shahid Afridi had beefed his way to a 37-ball hundred in only his second ODI at Nairobi; it had seemed an astonishing feat at that time, what with Sanath Jayasuriya having set the 48-ball benchmark just six months earlier.

Let us compare the three innings, ball by ball. How did the three men progress throughout their innings?

Balls faced

Shahid Afridi

Corey Anderson

AB de Villiers

Score

4s

6s

SR

Score

4s

6s

SR

Score

4s

6s

SR

1

0

0

0

0.0

1

0

0

100.0

4

1

0

400.0

2

6

0

1

300.0

1

0

0

50.0

6

1

0

300.0

3

7

0

1

233.3

5

1

0

166.7

7

1

0

233.3

4

7

0

1

175.0

6

1

0

150.0

8

1

0

200.0

5

11

1

1

220.0

6

1

0

120.0

12

2

0

240.0

6

11

1

1

183.3

7

1

0

116.7

18

2

1

300.0

7

11

1

1

157.1

13

1

1

185.7

22

3

1

314.3

8

17

1

2

212.5

14

1

1

175.0

28

3

2

350.0

9

17

1

2

188.9

14

1

1

155.6

34

3

3

377.8

10

17

1

2

170.0

16

1

1

160.0

34

3

3

340.0

11

23

1

3

209.1

17

1

1

154.5

36

3

3

327.3

12

29

1

4

241.7

21

2

1

175.0

38

3

3

316.7

13

30

1

4

230.8

27

2

2

207.7

38

3

3

292.3

14

31

1

4

221.4

28

2

2

200.0

39

3

3

278.6

15

37

1

5

246.7

34

2

3

226.7

45

3

4

300.0

16

43

1

6

268.8

40

2

4

250.0

51

3

5

318.8

17

45

1

6

264.7

40

2

4

235.3

57

3

6

335.3

18

51

1

7

283.3

46

2

5

255.6

61

4

6

338.9

19

55

2

7

289.5

46

2

5

242.1

67

4

7

352.6

20

59

3

7

295.0

52

2

6

260.0

68

4

7

340.0

21

59

3

7

281.0

53

2

6

252.4

72

5

7

342.9

22

59

3

7

268.2

53

2

6

240.9

73

5

7

331.8

23

65

3

8

282.6

53

2

6

230.4

74

5

7

321.7

24

71

3

9

295.8

59

2

7

245.8

74

5

7

308.3

25

72

3

9

288.0

65

2

8

260.0

78

6

7

312.0

26

76

4

9

292.3

71

2

9

273.1

82

7

7

315.4

27

77

4

9

285.2

77

2

10

285.2

82

7

7

303.7

28

78

4

9

278.6

83

2

11

296.4

88

7

8

314.3

29

78

4

9

269.0

84

2

11

289.7

92

8

8

317.2

30

82

5

9

273.3

84

2

11

280.0

98

8

9

326.7

31

83

5

9

267.7

85

2

11

274.2

104

8

10

335.5

32

89

5

10

278.1

89

3

11

278.1

33

89

5

10

269.7

93

4

11

281.8

34

95

5

11

279.4

94

4

11

276.5

35

95

5

11

271.4

95

4

11

271.4

36

97

5

11

269.4

101

4

12

280.6

37

101

6

11

273.0

Afridi’s record was eclipsed by Corey Anderson, who raced to a 36-ball hundred on New Year’s Day of 2014 against West Indies at the small ground of Queenstown (Jesse Ryder had also scored a 46-ball hundred that day). It seemed inevitable, given the changes Twenty20 cricket has brought in, that the record would not last — but nobody really expected it to be beaten by a whopping five deliveries (if that seems too less, it is a 14% improvement on the previous record).

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