Ever since the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL), there have been numerous fabulous batting performances.
The tone was set in the very first game of the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008. Brendon McCullum set the stage alight with an unbeaten 73-ball 158 for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Bengaluru.
Since then, the IPL has witnessed batting of the highest order and some of the fastest centuries recorded in the T20 format. On that note, let’s look at six of the fastest hundreds scored in the league.
#T5 David Warner (SRH) – 43 balls | against KKR in Hyderabad, IPL 2017
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain David Warner destroyed the much-famed KKR bowling attack with his audacious stroke-play in an IPL 2017 game.
Coming into the match, table toppers KKR had skittled out RCB for a paltry 49 runs a week earlier. However, Warner, who led SRH to the title in 2016, decided to take the attack to the opposition.
The left-hander launched a blistering counterattack from the first over. One of the highlights of Warner's innings was how he greeted Sunil Narine to the attack with a switch-hit over point for six. That stroke brought up his fifty, and the powerplay overs were still on as Sunrisers raced to 67 after five overs.
Warner looked set for a rare double ton as he completed his hundred in the 11th over. He eventually perished for a 59-ball 126, an innings that comprised ten fours and eight sixes, with Warner striking a boundary every 3.27 balls.
SRH won that IPL game by 48 runs.
#T5 AB de Villiers (RCB) – 43 balls | against Gujarat Lions in Bengaluru, IPL 2016
Gujarat Lions (GL) had beaten RCB in their first IPL meeting of the season. So it was time to avenge that loss when the two teams met for the second time.
Led by Virat Kohli, RCB took Gujarat Lions to the cleaners. Kohli (109 off 55 balls) and AB de Villiers (129 off 52 balls) added a record 229-run stand for the second wicket to guide RCB to a mammoth 248, the second-highest team score in IPL history.
In a spectacular exhibition of stroke-play, De Villiers completed his hundred off 43 balls. His innings comprised 12 sixes and ten fours as RCB won the match by a massive 144 runs.
#4 Adam Gilchrist (DC) – 42 balls | against MI in Mumbai, IPL 2008
In only the 14th match in IPL history, Adam Gilchrist smashed the fastest ton of the tournament against Mumbai Indians (MI) at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
The hundred came in a chase of 155, with the win marking the first victory for now defunct Hyderabad franchise, Deccan Chargers (DC).
From Shaun Pollock to Dwayne Bravo, Gilchrist didn’t care about reputations as he cut and pulled with ease to guide DC to a facile ten-wicket win. He ended the innings with an unbeaten 109 off just 47 balls.
#3 David Miller (KXIP) – 38 balls | against RCB in Mohali, IPL 2013
On May 6, 2013, Mohali witnessed one of the greatest knocks in T20 cricket. Chasing 191 to win, Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) were 64 for 4 at the halfway stage before a stunning David Miller onslaught.
Miller rode his stroke of luck when Kohli missed a skier that landed on his jaw. The South African left-hander's clean hits soon spread panic in the RCB camp. He shared a 130-run stand for the fifth wicket with Rajagopal Sathish off just 49 balls, with the latter only playing 18 balls and scoring 27 runs.
David Miller finished the game on the final ball of the 18th over with a six to bring up the record century.
#2 Yusuf Pathan (RR) – 37 balls | against MI in Mumbai (Brabourne), IPL 2010
Yusuf Pathan scored a scintillating 37-ball hundred in an IPL 2010 game against Mumbai Indians at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
Thanks to Pathan's exploits, Rajasthan Royals almost pulled off an improbable chase of 213 after being reduced to 37-3 after seven overs.
After the match, Shane Warne, the then-Rajasthan Royals (RR) captain, described Yusuf Pathan’s innings as the best hundred he had ever seen, saying in this regard:
“I’ve played cricket for 21 years, and I have seen Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsman against whom I have played, as he has murdered attacks and hit them all over the park. But today was the best innings I have ever seen. From a situation of 37 for 3 in seven overs and chasing 213 and come so close thanks to a 37 ball-100. It’s a special innings. We believe we can win from anywhere".
Unfortunately, Yusuf Pathan’s run-out helped Mumbai Indians take the thriller by just four runs. Nevertheless, it still required a special death-bowling effort from Lasith Malinga and Zaheer Khan to clinch the win for MI.
Yusuf Pathan’s century was the then fastest IPL hundred and the second-fastest in T20s after Andrew Symond’s 34-ball effort for Kent in 2004.
#1 Chris Gayle (RCB) – 30 balls | against PW in Bengaluru, IPL 2013
In an eventful IPL 2013 game between RCB and Pune Warriors (PW), a thunderous assault from Chris Gayle left the visiting bowlers scarred and scared.
The RCB innings witnessed as many as 21 sixes, out of which 17 came off Gayle’s blade. In fact, 102 of his 175 runs came in boundaries. RCB skipper Kohli noted that it was a privilege to witness the hundred from the best seat in the house.
Gayle brought up a stunning 30-ball hundred and looked unstoppable on the night.
He also picked up two wickets, and then there were some hilarious dance moves too. Battered by the Gayle carnage, PW lost the match by 130 runs.
RCB’s 263 for 5 still remains the highest team total in T20 cricket. Gayle’s 30-ball century is the fastest hundred in any form of senior men’s cricket.
It’s fitting that the record is still with Gayle, a man who has redefined batting in the shortest format of the game and is one of the most incredible batsmen the format has had.