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A World Record For Sanath Jayasuriya

Sanath Jayasuriya was known for his power hitting. He once held the record for the fastest half-century and century in ODI cricket. He scored off just 17 balls and broke the world record of fastest ODI fifty by just one ball.

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Last updated: 07.04.2019
Sanath Jayasuriya after breaking fastest ODI fifty record | Sports Social Blog

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1996 was the year of Sanath Jayasuriya. Just two weeks after being the Player of the series in the World Cup, Jayasuriya traveled with the Sri Lankan team to Singapore. The new champions were joined by the Asian powerhouses India and Pakistan to play the Singer cup, the first-ever triangular series in Singapore.

In the group stage, all three teams played each other once. Sri Lanka beat Pakistan in the first match, India beat Sri Lanka in the second match and Pakistan beat India in the third match. Finally, thanks to a better run-rate Pakistan and Sri Lanka qualified for the final.

Although Sanath had a rare failure against India, in the earlier match against Pakistan he broke the world record of the fastest ODI century by reaching his 100 off just 48 balls. It was then the fastest One day century that surpassed Mohammad Azharuddin’s record of 62-ball ODI century.

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On 7th April 1996, the day of the final, Arjuna Ranatunga won the toss and decided to bowl first. Lots of Pakistani batsmen got a good start but could not deliver a big score. Ijaz Ahmed, batting at number 6, was the highest scorer with 51 and shepherded the lower order to ensure that Pakistan reached 215 and was the last man to be dismissed.


During the chase, Jayasuriya came to all guns blazing. The first over went for 14 runs and he kept playing his shots. On the first ball of the 5th Over Jayasuriya reached his 50. He scored off just 17 balls and broke the world record of fastest ODI fifty by just one ball. This way Jayasuriya became the owner of world records for both the fastest 50 and 100 in ODIs at the same time.

Sri Lanka lost their first wicket in the 2nd ball of the 6th over. Romesh Kaluwitharana was bowled by Aaqib Javed with the team total on 70. However, Kalu was yet to open his book as he was gone for an 11-ball duck despite being part of a 70 runs partnership. Jayasuriya kept playing his shots and reached 76. When another quick century was looking around the corner, Jayasuriya played one shot that was caught by Saeed Anwar at the cover on the 3rd ball of the 9th over bowled by Waqar Younis. He ended his innings with 76 off 28 consisted of eight  fours and five sixes

Post Jayasuriya’s departure, the Pakistanis took control of the game. Both Aravinda and Arjuna failed and despite a 33 from Hashan Tillakaratne Sri Lanka were all out for just 172 runs in the 33rd over. Clearly, the overs were not a concern but none of the batsmen could bat longer. Despite the loss, this match remained memorable for Jayasuriya’s heroics and to date only AB de Villiers has reached fifty in lesser deliveries in ODI’s.

Check out the full scorecard for the match here: Final, Singer Cup at Singapore, Apr 7, 1996


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