Now and then, among the list of cricketing greats, comes a knock that completely changes the rules of what may be achieved on the field. Glenn Maxwell, a talented Australian all-rounder, broke the record books during the World Cup 2023 on Wednesday at New Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium.
The World Cup’s Top 5 Fastest Hundred
Maxwell demonstrated a masterpiece in aggressive batting by bludgeoning his way to the fastest century in World Cup history. The 35-year-old superstar stunned onlookers and experts alike by taking just 40 balls. With each shot he delivered, Maxwell defied the conventions of traditional cricket and became a World Cup icon.
Days before, South African batsman Aiden Markram had lit up the World Cup stage by hitting a century off just 49 balls against Sri Lanka at the same venue. The world celebrated Markram’s knock, but little did they know that this record would be fleeting and quickly eclipsed by Maxwell’s genius.
The feeling of being present to watch history being made filled the air as “Maxi” danced down the pitch, sending the Netherlands’ bowlers to every conceivable part of the field. Raising their voices in unison, the boisterous crowd praised the maestro for an innings that would go down in cricket history.
The top five quickest hundreds in World Cup history are shown below.
1. Glenn Maxwell: 2023 World Cup – The Dutch Hurricane
Maxwell’s knock against the Netherlands at the height of his career is almost legendary. Maxwell broke the previous mark with a remarkable century off just 40 balls in a ruthless display of explosive hitting.
Nine fours and a staggering eight sixes were hit during this historic inning. Maxwell’s aggressive onslaught had no countermove for the Dutch bowlers. He owned the ball, but he also played with it. His innings of 106 runs off 44 balls, his final total, would be noted for centuries to come and appears to have set a record.
2. Aiden Markram: The 2023 World Cup Juggernaut from South Africa
Another memorable moment from South Africa’s opening World Cup 2023 match was Aiden Markram’s blitz against Sri Lanka. Markram proved his exceptional timing and power with a scorching 106 off 56 balls that included fourteen boundaries and three huge sixes. He demonstrated the ideal blend of grace and aggressiveness in his dismantling of the Sri Lankan attack.
Setting the standard for the competition, Markram scored his century in 49 balls. His stroke helped the Proteas to an incredible 428 runs, which ultimately proved to be too much for the Sri Lankans, who lost by 102 runs.
3. Kevin O’Brien: World Cup 2011: The English Heartbreak
One of the most memorable knocks in World Cup history is Kevin O’Brien’s explosive century against England in 2011. Not only was the century fast, but the context in which he delivered it was also remarkable. O’Brien entered the match with a mountain to climb, while Ireland was pursuing an enormous aim of 328.
He was unfazed and went on the attack, smashing a scorching 113 off just 50 balls. With just 5 balls and 3 wickets remaining, Ireland secured victory as England found themselves reeling from his attack. Thanks to O’Brien’s valiant efforts, Irish cricket had a day of joy and the English team had a day of reckoning.
4. Glenn Maxwell: 2015 World Cup: Lankan Whirlwind
In 2015, Maxwell proved his batting skills against an excellent Sri Lankan squad. Maxwell played a violent and poetic innings with a combination of power and skill. Reaching his century in just 51 balls, he appeared to have unparalleled control of the game. His striking style was aggressive but graceful, as evidenced by every stroke he made.
The highlight was Maxwell’s incredible 102 off 53 balls, which included 19 boundaries and four sixes and helped Australia to a dominant 376/9. Overpowered by the strength of Australia, the Lankan team folded at 312, giving Australia a 64-run victory margin. Maxwell’s performance that day cemented his status as one of the best batsmen in cricket.
5. AB de Villiers: 2015 World Cup Caribbean Masterclass
In 2015, against the West Indies, AB de Villiers—often praised as cricket’s greatest innovative genius—proved himself. With an amazing display of talent, ingenuity, and raw force, de Villiers raced to his century in just 52 balls. His unbroken 162 was met with stunned spectators in the stadium and throughout the globe who saw him play strokes that appeared to violate the rules of the game.
His innings were crucial to the Proteas’ rule as he led them to an incredible 408/5. South Africa won handily by 257 runs when the West Indian team collapsed in the face of such an overwhelming target, quitting at 151. De Villiers gave a masterclass in aggressive batting that day, not just a play-by-play.