Australia’s Glenn Maxwell went past Aiden Markram’s record for fastest century in the history of ICC World Cup that the South African had set at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground just earlier this month, by pummeling Netherlands and reaching the three-figure mark nine balls quicker at the same venue on Wednesday evening.
Maxwell, who was struggling for form before this match and was dismissed for a first-ball duck against Pakistan in Australia’s last World Cup game, scored his century off just 40 balls bettering Markram who had hit his ton on October 7 against Sri Lanka in 49 balls.
In short, the Kotla ground here in Delhi has now witnessed the two fastest centuries in ICC World Cup.
The match had started on a sombre note with those present at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, including the Australia and Netherlands cricketers, observing silence in the memory of late Bishan Singh Bedi, who died on Monday (October 23).
After that, it were the pyrotechnics of the Australia batsmen.
First David Warner, who first shot to limelight at this venue when he represented Delhi’s IPL franchise a decade-and-a-half ago, got to his sixth World Cup century, joining India’s Sachin Tendulkar as the batsman with most tons in the quadrennial event after Rohit Sharma, who leads the table with seven centuries.
Once Warner was dismissed in the 40th over with the score on 267, Maxwell took charge and helped Australia reach 399/8 in 50 overs. The right-hander’s onslaught, including his famous reverse sweeps, yielded Australia 131 runs in the last 10 overs and included eight sixes and nine fours as he left the Delhi crowd in thrall.
Steve Smith (71 off 68 balls) and Marnus Labuschagne (62 off 47 balls) were the other scorers for Australia as the Dutch medium-pacers struggled for ideas.
Bas de Leede (two wickets) and Logan van Beek (four wickets) were the top wicket-takers but conceded 115 and 74 respectively in their 10 overs. De Leede’s 115 in 10 overs is the most expensive spell in ODI cricket for a bowler completing 10 overs.
In reply, Netherlands were bowled out for 90 to lose by 309 runs.