Happy New Year! An ODI record set by a 16 year old Shahid Afridi that stood for 17 years was smashed by Corey Anderson's 36 ball century.
New Zealand:283 for 4 in 21 overs (Anderson 131*, Ryder 104) beat West Indies 124 for 5 (Bravo 56*) by 159 runs.
Corey Anderson, a 23 year old New Zealand International became an overnight cricketing sensation by scoring the fastest International hundred in the history of the game irrespective of format. The left hander bludgeoned his way to an unbeaten 131, scoring his ton in an astonishing 36 balls. By doing so he finally broke a 17 year old record held by Shahid Afridi who took one less ball to reach the landmark.
Some would instantly pose questions regarding the size of the grounds, but as anyone who watched the game will testify, majority of Anderson’s hits would’ve easily cleared most grounds. He blasted 14 sixes and 4 boundaries making Jesse Ryder’s innings of 104 off 51 balls look pedestrian in comparison. New Zealand motored to a barely comprehensible total of 283-4 in a game reduced to 21 per side due to weather. Remarkably Anderson came in to bat with New Zealand on 84-3 in the 8th over.
There was simply no hiding place for the West Indian bowlers. Ravi Rampaul being the one who got most of that hiding. His three overs plundered 64 runs. Even Sunil Narine, renowned for being a tight short format bowler couldn’t supress Hurricane Anderson. His four overs costing 50 runs with a consolation wicket.
So brutal was the devastation caused by Anderson’s onslaught, the significance of Ryder's century almost became admissible. Ryder was playing in only his second International match following the horrific attack in Christchurch last year which put him in an induced coma.
Brendan McCullum had started the new year fireworks earlier with a brisk 33 off just 11 balls and set it up for Ryder and Anderson to swing their arms freely. By the time Ryder and Anderson had brought proceedings to an end there wasn’t a single person not left breathless. West Indies predictably meandered to 124-5 from their allocated overs, losing by 159 runs.
Purists may still hold Afridi's innings in higher regard given he was only 16 at the time and was facing Sri Lanka's world cup winning bowling attack. But New Years day 2014 certainly belonged to a certain Corey Anderson who’s innings I suspect might gain a few views on YouTube in the coming months.
image: © mashfiq13