Moeen Ali's knock went in vain as his team failed to get past the victory margin against Sri Lanka © Getty Images (File Photo)
Moeen Ali’s knock went in vain as his team failed to get past the victory margin against Sri Lanka © Getty Images (File Photo)

By Sandipan Banerjee

Moeen Ali had an excellent start of the tour of Sri Lanka as he scored his maiden One-day International (ODI) century in the very first ODI of the seven match series on Wednesday. His 72 ball century at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, also made him the third fastest centurion for England in ODIs. This is a significant achievement for a cricketer, who was just playing his sixth game in this format.

The fastest century for England was scored earlier this year by Alex Hales at Lords against the same opponent, Sri Lanka. He took just 61 balls to reach his landmark. Before that Kevin Pietersen’s 69 ball hundred against South Africa at East London in 2005 was the fastest ton for England. In 2013 middle order batsman Ravi Bopara was also scored a 74 ball century against Ireland at Dublin.

Here is the list of top five fastest centuries by the English cricketers.

Player Ball faced for Century Opponent Year
Jos Buttler 61 Sri Lanka 2014
Kevin Pietersen 69 South Africa 2005
Moeen Ali 72 Sri Lanka 2014
Ravi Bopara 74 Ireland 2013
Marcus Trescothick 76 Bangladesh 2005

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at Cricket Country. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)