Mohammed Azharuddeen in action | Photo: twitter.com|BCCIdomestic
New Delhi: Opener Mohammed Azharuddeen cracked the second-fastest T20 century -- 100 off 37 balls -- to help Kerala maul host Mumbai by eight wickets in an Elite E match of the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Wednesday. Although Azharuddeen missed by a mere five balls the record of Rishabh Pant, his effort was the joint-third-fastest century by an Indian.
Chasing Mumbai's 196 for seven wickets in 20 overs, Kerala made 201 for the loss of just two wickets in just 15.5 overs and collected four points at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Thanks to Azharuddeen's 54-ball 137 not out, Kerala posted their highest total of the tournament while chasing a target.
Azharuddeen, 26, who became the first Kerala player to score a century in the tournament, scored the runs at an amazing strike rate of 253.70, thanks to nine boundaries and 11 sixes, as he and guest player Robin Uthappa (33 off 23 balls) added 129 run for the opening wicket. After that partnership, it was smooth sailing for Kerala.
West Indies's Chris Gayle holds the record of the fastest T20 century, which he scored off only 30 balls during his smashing 175 not out off 66 balls for the Royal Challengers Bangalore against the Pune Warriors India in the 2013 IPL.
Pant scored his hundred off 32 balls for Delhi against Himachal Pradesh in Delhi in 2018. Rohit Sharma's 35-ball century against Sri Lanka in a T20 International is the second fastest among Indians. Azharuddeen's 37-ball ton equalled Yusuf Pathan's century for Rajasthan Royals against the Mumbai Indians in the 2010 IPL.