AB de Villiers: South Africa batsman smashes century record
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South Africa batsman AB de Villiers hit a century off 31 balls to record the fastest ever one-day international ton.
De Villiers, 30, set the new landmark during an innings of 149 against the West Indies in Johannesburg.
He smashed eight fours and 10 sixes in beating the previous ODI record of 36 balls by New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson against West Indies last year.
"I was on 92 when I realised it was going to be close. I wasn't going to take singles in the nineties," he said.
"I got really fired up in the changing room and sort of played my knock before I even came out to bat.
"Aggression was the main thing for me today - I just wanted to go right from the start."
Chris Gayle's 100 from 30 balls in the Indian Premier League in April 2013 is the fastest century in cricket history.
South Africa scored 439-2 as they registered their highest ever ODI score, beating the 438-9 in a win against Australia in March 2006.
The total was just four short of the all-time ODI record score of 443-9 set by Sri Lanka against Netherlands in July 2006.
Fastest ODI centuries
1. AB de Villiers (South Africa) - 31 balls against West Indies in Johannesburg on 18 January, 2015.
2. Corey Anderson (New Zealand) - 36 balls against West Indies in Queenstown on 1 January, 2014.
3. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) - 37 balls against Sri Lanka in Nairobi on 4 October, 1996.
4. Mark Boucher (South Africa) - 44 balls against Zimbabwe in Potchefstroom on 20 September, 2006.
5. Brian Lara (West Indies) - 45 balls against Bangladesh in Dhaka on 9 October, 1999.
Openers Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw also both hit centuries but ODI captain De Villiers stole the show with his spectacular innings.
De Villiers raced to 50 off 16 deliveries to surpass Sanath Jayasuriya's 19-year record for the fastest ODI fifty.
He ended up with 149 off 44 balls, hitting nine fours and 16 sixes, the latter equalling the record for the most number of maximums in an ODI innings.
In the second of a five-match ODI series against Windies, De Villiers was eventually out when caught at deep extra cover with two balls left off the bowling of Andre Russell.
"He said he was going to have a look for one over," said Test captain Amla. "He is an amazing player."
AB de Villiers in focus
*Statistics prior to De Villiers scoring 149 on 18/01/2015
Full name: Abraham Benjamin de Villiers
Test matches: 98 Runs: 7606 Average: 52.09
ODIs: 176 Runs: 7291 Average: 51.70
T20s: 57 Runs: 1007 Average: 22.37
Abraham Benjamin de Villiers is a South African cricketer, who captains the South African One Day International team, having succeeded Graeme Smith after the 2011 Cricket World Cup
South Africa skipper AB de Villiers smashed the fastest hundred in One Day Internationals - off just 31 balls - during the second match against West Indies at Johannesburg on Sunday. (Blog | Scorecard)
De Villiers hit a record-equalling 16 sixes and nine fours during his thunderous knock, breaking New Zealander Corey Anderson's record of a 36-ball ton in 2014. Rohit Sharma had hit 16 sixes during his 209-run knock vs Australia in 2013.� (Also read: Gilchrist hails de Villiers as best on the planet)
He fell for 149 off 44 deliveries, one run away from shattering the record for fastest 150 - currently held by Australian Shane Watson who reached the mark in 83 balls against Bangladesh - as he guided the hosts to their highest ODI total - 439 for two.
The West Indies were never likely to chase down a world record target but managed 291 for seven to give South Africa a 148-run win and a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
The feat overshadowed a remarkable innings from Hashim Amla, who batted through the innings to finish unbeaten on 153. Amla shared a record 247-run stand for the first wicket with Rilee Rossouw, who made 128.
De Villiers, who missed out on the fastest 150, and Amla were involved in a 67-ball 192-run stand for the second wicket.
The veteran wicket-keeper-batsman had earlier scored the fastest half-century off 16 balls after South Africa were asked to bat by West Indies skipper Jason Holder.
This was the first time that three centuries were scored in an ODI innings. There had been 116 instances of two centuries in an innings prior to this.