Saturday, August 29, 2015

abu dhabi doo

One cricket stat that seems to have slipped under my radar is the remarkable achievement of Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq in Abu Dhabi in November last year - I was going to say "last winter", but those terms are pretty meaningless in Abu Dhabi - equalling Sir Vivian Richards' record for the fastest Test century by clouting one off just 56 balls.

As a tribute to people hitting Test centuries at express speed, here's another table for you: people who have hit the most Test hundreds at a run a ball or greater (or, to put it another way, off 100 balls or fewer). The dozen listed here are those who did it more than once. No real surprises with most of the names on the list, indeed I could have probably given you the top two with a good degree of confidence before compiling the list (for which the source data is here).

PlayerCountryNumber of 100sFastest (balls)
Virender SehwagIndia778
Adam GilchristAustralia657
Chris GayleWest Indies470
Brian LaraWest Indies377
Brendon McCullumNew Zealand374
Shahid AfridiPakistan378
Ian BothamEngland386
Kapil DevIndia374
Tamim IqbalBangladesh294
Mohammad AzharuddinIndia274
Ross TaylorNew Zealand281
David WarnerAustralia269

It won't have escaped your notice that most of those people are relatively recent - Botham and Kapil Dev take you back to the early 1980s, but that's about it. As with this list (which you'll notice Misbah also features on), that's partly because balls-faced information is increasingly sketchy the further back you go, but also just because the game is played at a relatively breakneck speed these days - the influence of all that one-day and Twenty20 cricket, no doubt, as well as more mundane things like bigger, fitter players, bigger bats, that sort of thing. Just to be clear, I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it's just a thing.

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