A cataclysmic 36-ball onslaught from South Africa’s David Miller has skyrocketed him to the top of the history books, becoming the current record holder for the fastest century in T20 International cricket.
We’ve heard it countless times before, it only takes one innings to trump some of the very best in crickets long list of record holders, but who actually comprehends those sorts of percentages and possibilities when someone looks in the form of their life, only to be disappointed when they fall short of those lofty-expectations. Well, on this occasion it was David Miller who had every cricket spectator out of their seats as the 28-year-old excitement machine decided to flick the switch in the second T20 International against Bangladesh at Potchefstroom. It wasn’t without some luck though, he was living on the edge at the start of his innings with some fortunate outcomes that went his way.
Luck was on Miller’s side early, he was dropped by Bangladesh keeper Mushfiqur Rahim who initially caught it, but it bobbled out when he hit the ground as an errant-glove from Miller who swatted at a short ball heading down the leg side almost caught him off-guard. That was his lucky break, it’s not often you receive free lives early in T20 cricket, a very-watchful and cautious approach was taken over the coarse of the next two overs which didn’t indicate a dominant-presence from the No. 5. At one point, Miller miss-timed a drive which ballooned high on the off side, only to land in between three fielders! This was your typical nervous start to an innings, not looking convincing but narrowly escaping the dreaded walk back to the dressing rooms. His luck continued as he looked to make the most of his close-calls with another expansive shot, coming along way down the wicket to spinner Mahmudullah who was already one step ahead of him as he pitched it wide, putting pressure on Miller to get to it to avoid being stumped. He barely made contact with the ball, edging it back towards his stumps as the ball narrowly rolled past missing the woodwork by a couple centimeters.
Straight after that action-packed delivery that had Miller walking on thin ice once again, he decided enough was enough and hammered Mahmudullah over long off for six. That was the turning point in his innings, with five overs left in South Africa’s innings, David Miller had managed to make it to 25 with a ton of luck, and Hashim Amla was anchoring the innings up the other end on 80. Miller survived another close-call when he took off for a quick single and just made it to the other end with a direct hit, the cricketing gods were well and truly on his side. Miller went on to score 17 runs off that over, but it was the 19th over that saw South Africa’s aggressor put Bangladesh to the sword. You have to feel for Mohammad Saifuddin, at just 20-years of age he was on the receiving end of a six-hitting masterclass from David Miller, stamping his authority on the match as he blasted a scintillating-31 runs off the over. Just four balls later, he brought up his century in a record-breaking 35 balls as he passed fellow-South African batsman Richard Levi who previously held the record against New Zealand back in 2012.
For an innings that looked as unconvincing as it did, David Miller managed to survive some close calls but at the same time find the boundary frequently which probably explains how he reached three-figures as quickly as he did, scoring 82 of his 101 runs in fours and sixes. As the record stands, the top three fastest centuries in T20 Internationals are all South Africans – David Miller, Richard Levi and Faf du Plessis. South Africa finished the innings on 224/4, the most runs conceded by Bangladesh in a T20I match since 2013.
Fastest T20 International century
David Miller (35 balls) v Bangladesh, 2017
Richard Levi (45 balls) v New Zealand, 2012
Faf du Plessis (46 balls) v West Indies, 2015
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.