January 18, 2015. A day that is going to be hard erase from the record books of One-Day International cricket.
It’s been four years (and one day) since Abraham Benjamin de Villiers decided to go berserk against West Indies at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Sixteen balls to get to the fifty, a new world record; 31 balls to reach a century which was five deliveries quicker than the previous record for the fastest ODI ton; 16 sixes in that innings, equalling the record of Rohit Sharma (which came when the Indian batsman hit 115 runs more than de Villiers did that day).
It still boggles the mind that de Villiers came in to bat in the 39th over in that match against West Indies. THIRTY NINTH. In the 11 overs and three balls that were left, this man faced 44 balls and scored 149 runs.
Forget the pitch. Forget the bowling attack. Forget the size of the boundaries in Jo’burg. This was an innings from a man who made onlookers question if he, in fact, was an alien.
Here’s a quick summary of the record he broke that day:
- Fastest ODI fifty in 16 balls.
- Fastest ODI century in 31 balls.
- Highest strike-rate in an innings of 50-plus (339)
- Joint most number of sixes hit in an innings (16 along with Rohit Sharma)
We could write so much more about that innings, but why bother when you can re-watch it, right?
Here’s a 12-minute highlight package of a blistering innings: