Sanath Jayasuriya scored the then fastest ODI half-century: The former Sri Lankan opener held the record for as many as 19 years.
On this day in 1996, former Sri Lanka batsman Sanath Jayasuriya had become the quickest to score a half-century in ODIs. In what was Jayasuriya’s 12th ODI half-century, it had come off just 17 balls to provide Sri Lanka a rocketing start in a 216-run chase in the final of the Singer Cup.
Opening the batting with wicket-keeper batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana, the pair shared a quickfire 70-run opening partnership. Kaluwitharana, who got out to Pakistan pacer Aaqib Javed on the second delivery of the sixth over, didn’t contribute a single run in the partnership which speaks highly about the southpaw’s blitz at the top of the order.
Predominantly known for changing the ODI batting mindset against the new ball, Jayasuriya drove Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis for a boundary on the second ball of the innings to make his intentions clear.
Jayasuriya, then 26, started hitting Younis and Javed to both sides of the ground leaving the Pakistani duo with minimal options against him. What followed was a flurry of fearless pulls, cuts and drives to boost the Sri Lankan innings.
Having completed the 50-run partnership in just 22 balls, Jayasuriya then brought up an individual record as he pulled Pakistani spinner Saqlain Mushtaq for a six to score a 17-ball half-century.
Despite Jayasuriya scoring 76 (28) with the help of eight fours and five sixes before getting out in the ninth over, Sri Lanka fared miserably in the chase as they were bundled out for 172 in 32.5 overs. With bowling figures of 7-0-46-3, Mushtaq was the pick of Pakistani bowlers.
Sanath Jayasuriya scored the then fastest ODI half-century
Before Jayasuriya, the record for the quickest half-century was held by Australia’s Simon O’Donnell who had registered an 18-ball half-century against Sri Lanka in 1990.
Jayasuriya, who held the record for close to 19 years, saw former South Africa captain AB de Villiers going past him by scoring a 16-ball ODI half-century against West Indies in Johannesburg.
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