There could not have been a more entertaining end to this year calendar than what was provided by Martin Guptill during his breath-taking 30 ball 93, in the process of which he also took New Zealand to a world record of the fastest team fifty coming off just 16 balls.
Today, we look upon some similar efforts put up by the players to take their team’s total to this first landmark in such an extravagant manner:
There are hardly any better monday mornings for a cricket fan, than to wake up and see such a brutal assault with the bat. It was a very special innings from a very special player that lead to a new record of fastest team 50 coming of just 16 balls. The highest run scorer in ODI’s this year, Martin Guptill decided to the make most of his dropped chance as he sent the ball to all parts of the ground, and eventually getting the better of his skipper’s record of the fastest fifty. Guptill raced to his 50 in 17 balls keeping the crowd on its toes during the entire chase.
Sanath Jayasuriya had already announced himself on the international stage as an attacking opening batsmen, but little did the world know that this all-time legend would go on to register the fastest fifty of the decade and in the process, take Sri lanka to a flying start by putting up a 50 on the board in just 22 balls. Though it was to a losing cause, it inspired the young followers of the game to go out there and express themselves from the very beginning and to make use of the field restrictions.
It’s like a cricketing delicacy when you see Brendon Mccullum charging down the crease and hitting the bowler right over his head. This time it was England who had to bear the brunt for this guy’s uncanny ability to convert good balls into boundary balls. The stage could have not been any better than the Cricket World Cup as he raised his team total to 50 in just 3.4 overs. He was positive from the first ball and made sure there were no hiccups, as often the case while chasing a small total. Someone rightly said that this guy is an epitome of how the game is to be played and New Zealand cricket will never be the same without the swash-buckling, gentle Brendon Mccullum.
There seems to be a strange affection between the left handed openers of Sri Lanka and the tough strong Pakistani bowlers. It was the second time that the boys from Pakistan were caught up on the wrong side of the assault as it was the turn of young Kusal Perera to get into the limelight. While chasing a target of 288, Kusal provided a start as ideal as any team would want, taking them to fifty in just 23 balls. The left hander was exceptional on the on-side as he pulled, hooked, flicked with both power and elegance. He went on to score his fifty in just 17 balls which ended for the winning cause, making this as one of the most memorable innings of his life.
Adam Gilchrist was undoubtedly one of the most dangerous openers the game has ever witnessed. This time, Port Elizabeth was spectator to the guy’s complete ascendance over the opposition. The series was done and dusted with Australia comfortably over the line, and it was the time for the final face off. While chasing a steep target of 327, he took it upon himself to provide the Aussies with a quick start and bring their first fifty in no time in just 28 balls. It was classic Gilchrist as he pulled the second ball of the innings into the stands and made his intentions very clear right from the beginning. Australia went on to win the game in the end with five balls to spare and it was yet another master class from the left hander.
India vs. Pakistan can easily be termed as the most heated rivalry in the cricketing field. It’s not only about the game, but also the plethora of emotion and pride that comes with it. There could be no better day in your career than to come out and perform in such a high voltage game. Shahid Afridi is a man who craves for such events. Popularly known as BOOM BOOM Afridi, he completely justified his nickname when he walked out to bat on April 15, 2005 in Green Park, Kanpur while chasing a modest target of 250. The power house from Karachi took his team total to 50 in just 4.5 overs as he displayed an exceptional mixture of both timing and power. He was rewarded with the man of the match award for his powerful performance with the bat.