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Fastest Test fifty: Fastest player of the longest format

Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq has scored the fastest Test fifty, taking just 24 minutes and 21 balls to get to his half-century.

With the game changing so rapidly in recent times, and the focus shifting more towards scoring runs quickly, we may see more instances of batters approaching a Test innings like they do in T20 cricket. We already see a lot of Indian and English cricketers do that.

Despite this transition in mentality, still not many prefer to take the aerial route right from the get-go in Test cricket, which is why we don’t see a lot of run-a-ball fifties in this format. However, some supernatural talents are more than capable of doing it, and we have seen it happen a few times before, where batters get to the 50-landmark in double-quick time.

Here’s a list of the players who scored the fastest fifty in Test cricket.

Fastest Test fifty (By Minutes): Top 5 list

S.NOPLAYEROPPONENTMINUTES TO COMPLETE FIFTYYEAR
1Misbah-ul-HaqAustralia242014
2Mohammad Ashraful India272007
3Jack BrownAustralia281895
4Salim DuraniEngland 291964
5Foffie WilliamsEngland301948

Misbah-ul-Haq scored Test fifty in 24 minutes

In one of his finest-ever performances, Misbah-ul-Haq managed to score the fastest-ever fifty in Test cricket and went on to level Sir Vivian Richards for the fastest century in this format (a record later broken by Brendon McCullum). During the Abu Dhabi Test in 2014 against Australia, Misbah slaughtered their bowlers and scored his fifty in just 24 minutes.

Mohammad Ashraful | Fifty in 27 minutes v India

In an otherwise forgettable match for Bangladesh against India (second Test of the series), Mohammad Ashraful had registered the then-fastest fifty in Test cricket, a record which stood by his name for 7 years. This came in the second innings of the game, after India had enforced follow-on in Mirpur. India went on to win this Test by a comfortable margin.

John Thomas Brown | Fifty in 28 minutes v Australia

The only addition in this list from the 19th century, John Thomas Brown, also recognized as Jack Brown, established the fastest fifty record in 1898, which stood firm for over a century until Ashraful broke it in 2007. He did this during the Melbourne Test against Australia, when England needed 297 runs to win in quick time. He scored his fifty in 28 minutes, and went on to score 140 runs in 145 minutes, helping England win the game.

Salim Durani | Fifty in 29 minutes v England

Whilst Rishabh Pant scored the fastest fifty in Tests for India by the number of balls faced, former opener Salim Durani holds the same record in terms of minutes played. He made a stellar against England (Napier) in 1964, getting to the half century mark in just 29 minutes.

Foffie Williams | Fifty in 30 minutes v England

Ernest Albert Vivian Williams, fondly remembered as Foffie Williams, scored a fifty in just 30 minutes against England back in 1948 in Bridgetown. Although there is no official record of the number of fours he hit, he did hit three sixes during to get to this mark.

Fastest Test fifty (By Balls): Top 5 list

Fastest Test fifty (By Balls): Top 5 list

S.NOPLAYEROPPONENTBALLS FACED COMPLETE FIFTYYEAR
1Misbah-ul-HaqAustralia212014
2David WarnerPakistan232017
3Jacques KallisZimbabwe242005
4Shane ShillingfordNew Zealand252014
5Shahid AfridiIndia262005

Misbah-ul-Haq | Fifty in 21 balls v Australia

Misbah-ul-Haq holds the world record for the fastest fifty scored in Test in terms of balls faced, which during the Abu Dhabi Test match against Australia. He leads the fastest fifty charts in both aspects, minutes and balls faced. He finished with 101 off 55 balls, which includes 11 fours and 5 sixes.

David Warner | Fifty in 23 balls v Pakistan

The swashbuckling Australian opener David Warner made a fifty in just 23 balls against Pakistan (Sydney). The supremely talented southpaw went after their bowlers, and took full advantage of the new ball. Incidentally, this fifty came in the second innings, and he had already made a stellar 113 off just 95 balls in the first innings, taking his match tally to 168 in 122 balls.

Jacques Kallis | Fifty in 24 balls v Zimbabwe

The South African batting maestro Jacques Kallis murdered the Zimbabwe (Cape Town) back in 2005. With the Proteas looking to declare soon, Kallis came in and smoked the bowlers to all parts, bringing up his fifty in just 24 balls. His knock included 5 sixes and 3 fours, and 42 of his 54 runs came in boundary.

Shane Shillingford | Fifty in 25 balls v New Zealand

Shane Shillingford produced an absolute spectacular fifty against New Zealand (Kingston) in 2014, which came in just 25 balls. The most interesting aspect of all, is the fact that this fifty came while he was batting at number 11. He finished with a 29-ball 53, but West Indies suffered a massive defeat by 186 runs.

Shahid Afridi | Fifty in 26 balls v India

Shahid Afridi is a name you expect to see in such a list. During the Bangalore Test against India in 2005, he made a half-century in just 26 balls. He came out to open in the second innings and finished with a 34-ball 58, which propelled Pakistan to 261 runs for the loss of 2 wickets in just 50 overs.

FAQs

Who has scored the fastest Test fifty for India?

Rishabh Pant scored the fastest fifty for India in Test cricket (in 28 balls) against Sri Lanka (Bengaluru), breaking Kapil Dev’s record (30 balls).

Who has scored the fastest Test hundred?

Brendon McCullum scored the fastest hundred in Tests against Australia.

Who has scored the fastest test fifty at the Oval?

Shardul Thakur scored the fastest Test fifty at the Oval v England.

What is Cheteshwar Pujara’s fastest fifty in Test cricket?

Cheteshwar Pujara’s fastest fifty in Test cricket came against South Africa, in 54 balls.

Also Read: Double century in ODI: Know cricket’s duplex centurions

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