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Top 10 Fastest Centuries in T20 International Cricket

Slam-bang T20 cricket gained immense popularity soon after it was introduced in the early 2000s. Over the years, the format has enjoyed so much attention that many argue it has eclipsed the importance of red-ball cricket. The format was first introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 for an inter-county competition. Three years later, the first T20 international was held between Australia and New Zealand in Auckland. The first ICC T20I World Cup was played in 2007, where India beat arch-rivals Pakistan in the final. Following the tournament, several franchise cricket leagues were started across nations, the most popular of them being the Indian Premier League (IPL).

T20 cricket demands big-hitting and high strike rates. Over the last decade and a half, several quick-fire centuries have been scored in this format at the international level. Here we take a look at the top 10.

David Miller – South Africa vs Bangladesh, 35 balls

David Miller’s first-ever T20I century is also the joint-fastest in the history of the game, which he scored against Bangladesh in the final T20I of the series in 2017. Coming in to bat in the 11th over in Potchefstroom, he was dropped on zero and made the most of that opportunity, scoring an unbeaten 101 off only 36 balls. In the penultimate over, he hit Mohammed Saifuddin for five consecutive sixes. Miller’s innings was laced with seven fours and nine sixes, and helped South Africa win the game by 83 runs.

Total T20Is played – 81

Runs scored – 1525

Strike rate – 139.65

Also Read: Which team holds the record for the highest run chase in ODI?

Rohit Sharma – India vs Sri Lanka, 35 balls

On Sri Lanka’s tour of India in 2017, Rohit Sharma scored the joint-fastest T20I century, equalling Miller’s record. His 35-ball 100 in the second T20I in Indore was laced with 12 fours and 10 sixes and helped India win the game by 88 runs. The century is the fastest by an Indian across formats and also made Rohit the first Indian batter to score two centuries in the shortest format. Interestingly, this knock came only a few days after Rohit had scored his record-breaking third double-century in ODIs.

Total T20Is played – 111

Runs scored – 2864

Strike rate – 138.96

Hazratullah Zazai – Afghanistan vs Ireland, 42 balls

In 2019, Hazratullah Zazai smashed the ball all over the stadium in Dehradun to help Afghanistan set up a world record T20 score of 278-3 against Ireland. The 21-year-old scored a century off 42 balls and remained unbeaten on 162 runs off 62 balls, which included 16 sixes and 11 fours. Playing only his fifth T20 for Afghanistan, Zazai scored the second-highest individual score in T20 internationals. The southpaw reached his half-century off 25 balls and then completed his century in the 42nd ball by hitting Ireland skipper Paul Stirling for a six-over long-on.

Total T20Is played – 15

Runs scored – 570

Strike rate – 155.31

Richard Levi – South Africa vs New Zealand, 45 balls

Playing only his second T20I, the former South African opener smashed a 45-ball century against New Zealand in Hamilton in 2012. His eventual knock – a 51-ball 117, helped the visitors chase 173 runs with eight wickets and 24 balls remaining. Levi scored a half-century off 25 balls and then accelerated his strike rate, hitting back-to-back boundaries. His knock was laced with five fours and 13 sixes and was the fastest T20I century at that time. The right-hander played his last T20I that same year in December.

Total T20Is played – 13

Runs scored – 236

Strike rate – 141.31

Faf du Plessis – South Africa vs West Indies, 46 balls

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis raced to a 46-ball century against West Indies in Johannesburg in 2015, but the knock came in a losing cause. Plessis, who batted at no. 3, hit Sulieman Benn for 20 runs in the final over of the powerplay, which was the highlight of his innings. His knock made him the second centurion from his country in the shortest format. But the effort went in vain as Chris Gayle’s 41-ball 90 and Marlon Samuels’ 39-ball 60 helped the Windies chase down 231 runs in 19.2 overs.

Total T20Is played – 50

Runs scored – 1528

Strike rate – 134.38

KL Rahul – India vs West Indies, 46 balls

KL Rahul equaled the record of Faf du Plessis against West Indies in Lauderhill in 2016. In a nail-biting encounter that was won by the hosts by one run, KL scored a 51-ball 110 which included 12 fours and five sixes. On the back of Ewin Lewis’ 48-ball 100, the Windies posted 245 runs on the board, in reply to which India fell short of one run.

Total T20Is played – 49

Runs scored – 1557

Strike rate – 142.19

Also Read: Who holds the record for the highest individual score in ODI cricket?

Glenn Phillips – New Zealand vs West Indies, 46 balls

After du Plessis and KL Rahul, the third batter to score a century in 46 balls, which is the fifth-fastest T20I century, is New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips. Batting at no. 3, Phillips scored a 51-ball 108 during the course of which he smashed 10 fours and eight sixes. This is the fastest by a New Zealand player in T20Is. Batting first, the hosts put up a commanding 238 runs on the board and then bundled out West Indies for 166 runs.

Total T20Is played – 25

Runs scored – 506

Strike rate – 149.70

Aaron Finch – Australia vs England, 47 balls

Australian opener Aaron Finch clobbered the England bowlers to score a 47-ball century, the sixth fastest in T20 internationals. He started his innings with a six off the first ball he faced and was unstoppable after that. Finch scored 55 off the first 26 deliveries he faced, and off the next 11 deliveries, he reached his century. His 63-ball 153 came with the help of 11 fours and 15 sixes. Australia bowlers successfully defended their total of 248 runs and handed over a 39-run defeat to England.

Total T20Is played – 71

Runs scored – 2436

Strike rate – 152.14

Chris Gayle – West Indies vs England, 47 balls

Chris Gayle equaled Finch’s record against England in Mumbai in the 2016 World T20. Chasing 183 to win, Gayle plundered a 47-ball 100 with the help of five fours and 11 sixes and helped his side win by six wickets.

Total T20Is played – 61

Runs scored – 1656

Strike rate – 140.81

Colin Munro – New Zealand vs West Indies, 47 balls

On West Indies’ tour of New Zealand in 2018, Colin Munro achieved a personal feat of scoring the joint sixth-fastest T20I century – a 47-ball 100 – which helped his side post 243 runs on the board. In reply, none of the Windies batsmen except for Andre Fletcher showed any courage, and the side was dismantled for 124 runs in 16.3 overs.

Total T20Is played – 65

Runs scored – 1724

Strike rate – 156.44

You can also create your own fantasy team for T20I cricket on MPL and stand a chance to win real cash prizes.

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.

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