Shahid Afridi woke up on New Year's Day hearing that his fastest century in One-day internationals has been blown away. "Corey, who"? Afridi asked his nephew who 'broke' the news of Anderson's 36-ball century against West Indies in Queenstown, New Zealand. "I never heard his name and early morning my nephew told me about his feat and I sort of said the first news of 2014 is of my record being broken," Afridi said. "But I must say it's a great achievement and Anderson deserves all the praise. It needs a super effort to score a hundred off 36 balls."
Twenty-three-year-old Anderson was on 95 off 35 balls and smashed a six off Nikita Miller over long-leg to complete the fastest century in ODI history. Afridi had scored a 37-ball century against Sri Lanka in 1996. Anderson said the record wasn't on his mind. "No, not really, I just thought it was a pretty quick hundred, I didn't realise that it was the fastest," he said. The left-hander, who made his ODI debut in the ICC Champions Trophy in June 2013, clubbed 14 sixes in his unbeaten 131 off 47 balls to set up an easy win over West Indies in the third ODI in Queenstown. This was his seventh ODI.
Anderson's century is the fastest in List-A too, equalling Graham Rose's 36-ball century for Somerset in 1990. "I think it was more of 'go with it', the hundred never really got into my mind. I sort of got there so quickly, I didn't have time to think about it. It's just one of those things, you keep going with it, striking it and try and get as many runs on the board as you can. It becomes more about a team than an individual performance."
Coming as it does within weeks of the Indian Premier League auction due on February 12, Anderson's knock will increase his 'value'. West Indian skipper Dwayne Bravo has already suggested that his team Chennai Super Kings should pick up the young Kiwi batsman. But Anderson is not overawed. "Those things float about," Anderson said, "I'm happy where I am at with New Zealand, I'm still trying to cement my place as well."
Afridi hoped his 17-year-old record would last a while more. "I sort of wanted this record to stand until I retire because it has been a big pride for Pakistan and for me and whenever my name comes the record is mentioned," he said. "Now Anderson's name will come but I am sure with the advent of Twenty20 cricket this record will surely be bettered in the future."
When Anderson was asked about Afridi getting news of the record being broken on New Year's morning, Anderson said: "He might be going to try and beat it. It's nice to have that accolade, it's nice to also have the win today."
(with AFP inputs)