When it comes to the Top Five Quickest Centuries in World Cup History, names from various teams shine on the list. A recent addition is Aiden Markram from South Africa, who dazzled the crowd by making a century in a mere 49 balls against Sri Lanka at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. With just one delivery, he surpassed Kevin O’Brien’s previous record. Markram’s remarkable innings consisted of 106 runs in 54 balls, with 14 fours and 3 sixes to his name.
An interesting highlight of the game was that it was the first time in a World Cup match that three different players managed to score centuries. Before Markram’s stunning display, Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen also achieved scores of 100 and 108, respectively. Thanks to these performances, South Africa set a new benchmark with their record-breaking score of 428-5, the highest in World Cup history.
Top 5 Fastest World Cup Centuries Ever in Detail
1. Aiden Markram (South Africa): 49 balls (vs. Sri Lanka, Delhi, 2023)
Aiden Markram’s 49-ball century in the 2023 World Cup is the fastest in the tournament’s history. He broke Kevin O’Brien’s previous record by one ball. Markram’s innings were a masterpiece of timing, power, and temperament. He hit 14 fours and 3 sixes in his innings, and he reached his century with a single off the 49th ball.
Markram’s innings came at a crucial time for South Africa. They were batting first, and they needed to get off to a good start. Markram provided them with just that. He put on a quick partnership with Quinton de Kock, and he then took over the innings himself. He scored rapidly and consistently and put Sri Lanka on the backfoot.
Markram’s century helped South Africa post a mammoth total of 428–5. Sri Lanka were never in the chase, and they were bowled out for 230. Markram was named the Man of the Match for his brilliant innings.
2. Kevin O’Brien (Ireland): 50 balls (vs. England, Bengaluru, 2011)
During the 2011 World Cup, Kevin O’Brien’s unforgettable innings stood out as a monumental moment in cricket history. Playing against England, O’Brien’s rapid 50-ball century played a pivotal role in Ireland’s chase of a towering target of 328 – setting a record for the highest successful run-chase in World Cup tournaments.
Stepping up to bat with Ireland requiring 112 runs from just 13 overs, O’Brien began cautiously. But it wasn’t long before he shifted gears, showcasing an aggressive stance and brilliant shot selection. His ability to find the boundary seemed effortless, and the English bowlers had no answers to his onslaught. The crowning moment came when he smashed a six to reach his century off the 49th delivery, ultimately guiding Ireland to a thrilling win with a few balls to spare.
Not only did O’Brien’s exceptional innings cement Ireland’s position in one of the most significant World Cup upsets, but his performance also earned him accolades, being honored as the Man of the Match and subsequently the Player of the Tournament for his consistent excellence throughout the competition.
Glenn Maxwell (Australia): 51 balls (vs. Sri Lanka, Sydney, 2015)
During the 2015 World Cup, Glenn Maxwell delivered an unforgettable performance against Sri Lanka, racing to a century in just 51 balls. This remarkable inning by Maxwell propelled Australia to a commanding score of 376-9. True to his style, Maxwell began aggressively, dispatching the ball to every corner of the field. The highlight came when he secured his century with a spectacular six on his 50th delivery. He continued his onslaught until his dismissal in the 45th over.
Thanks to Maxwell’s stellar performance, Australia set a challenging target for Sri Lanka, who fell short, ending their innings at 312. For his outstanding play, Maxwell rightfully earned the “Man of the Match” accolade.
4. AB de Villiers (South Africa): 52 balls (vs. the West Indies, Canberra, 2015)
AB de Villiers’ 52-ball century in the 2015 World Cup came against the West Indies, and it helped South Africa chase down a target of 270. De Villiers’ innings were a masterclass in batting. He was elegant and effortless in his strokeplay, and he made the chase look easy. He reached his century with a single off the 51st ball, and he then finished the match with a flourish.
De Villiers’ innings helped South Africa win the match by six wickets, and it was one of the most memorable innings of the tournament. De Villiers was named the Man of the Match for his brilliant innings.
5. Eoin Morgan (England): 57 balls (vs. Afghanistan, Manchester, 2019).
Eoin Morgan’s 57-ball century in the 2019 World Cup came against Afghanistan, and it helped England to post a total of 397-6. Morgan’s inning was a display of his power and brutality. He hit boundaries all over the ground, and he reached his century with a six off the 56th ball.
Morgan’s innings helped England set a record total for the highest team score in a World Cup match. Afghanistan were eventually bowled out for 247, and England won the match by 150.
In conclusion, the Top Five Quickest Centuries in World Cup History not only showcase the batsmen’s individual talent but also the evolving dynamism and intensity of World Cup cricket.