The record for the fastest fifty in cricket history by balls faced is 12 deliveries, and five cricketers have achieved the feat to date.
Among the five, Yuvraj Singh is the only Indian to feature as the quickest half-centurion in cricket history.
Former South African all-rounder Michael van Vuuren, who hit a 13-ball fifty for Eastern Province ‘B’ in a first-class match in 1985, held the honour for the fastest fifty in cricket history for 20 years until Sri Lankan all-rounder Kaushalya Weeraratne broke the record with a 12-ball effort in a List A game in 2005.
Here we take a look at the record batters who have scored the fastest fifty in cricket history.
Fastest fifty in cricket history
|Kaushalya Weeraratne||12||2005||List A|
Fastest fifty in First-Class cricket
Wayne White is the record holder for the fastest fifty in First-Class cricket, having hit an unbeaten 12-ball 50 against Essex in 2012.
After playing out a knock of 53 runs in 111 deliveries in the first innings of the 2012 County Championship Division 2 match, White raced to his half-century in the second innings in record time.
His knock was infused with four boundaries and four sixes as he helped Leicestershire give Essex a target of 270 runs to chase. The match was eventually drawn.
|Michael van Vuuren||Eastern Province ‘B’||Griqualand West||13||1985|
|Bandeep Singh||Jammu and Kashmir||Tripura||15||2015|
The same match would see Wayne White’s team-mate Ned Eckersley hit a 14-ball fifty and remain unbeaten with a 19-ball 70 alongside White.
Meanwhile, in India, Bandeep Singh scripted a historic record of his own in 2015. Representing Jammu and Kashmir in the Ranji Trophy match against Tripura, Bandeep smashed a 15-ball 50 to help his side set a target of 368 to win the match.
Bandeep Singh’s knock still stands as the fastest fifty in Ranji Trophy history. To know about Ranji Trophy records, click here.
Fastest fifty in Test cricket
In the international format, former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq holds the record for the fastest fifty in Test cricket.
Misbah took a record 24 minutes to reach his Test half-century in the 2014 Pakistan vs Australia Test in Abu Dhabi and broke the previous record held by Jacques Kallis in 2009 against Zimbabwe.
|David Warner||Australia||Griqualand West||23||2017|
|Jacques Kallis||South Africa||Essex||24||2005|
|Shane Shillingford||West Indies||New Zealand||25||2014|
Rishabh Pant holds the record for India with a 28-ball fifty against Sri Lanka in 2022.
Fastest fifty in List A cricket
Kaushalya Weeraratne is credited as the player to score the fastest fifty in List A cricket, with his 12-ball effort coming in a List A game for Ragama Cricket Club against Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club in the 2005 Premier Limited Over Tournament.
The Sri Lankan all-rounder remained unbeaten on 66 runs off 18 balls as his knock, which included two fours and eight sixes, propelled Ragama to 219/5. The match eventually finished without a result.
|Kaushalya Weeraratne||Ragama Cricket Club||Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club||12||2005|
|Thisara Perera||Sri Lanka Army Sports Club||Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club||13||2021|
|Rory Kleinveldt||Western Province||KwaZulu-Natal||14||2011|
|Salman Butt||National Bank of Pakistan||Lahore Eagles||15||2005|
Baroda’s Atit Sheth hit the fastest fifty in List A cricket during the 2020-21 Vijay Hazare Trophy Elite Group A match against Chhattisgarh. The then-25-year-old hit seven maximums in his blitzkrieg to drive Baroda to a match-winning score of 332/6.
Fastest fifty in ODIs
AB de Villiers holds the record for the fastest fifty in ODIs. The legendary South African batter took just 16 balls to reach his fifty in a 2015 ODI against West Indies and finished his innings with a 44-ball 149 at a rate of 338.63.
|AB de Villiers||South Africa||West Indies||16||2015|
|Sanath Jayasuriya||Sri Lanka||Pakistan||17||1996|
|Kusal Perera||Sri Lanka||Pakistan||17||2015|
|Martin Guptill||New Zealand||Sri Lanka||17||2015|
|Simon O’Donnell||Australia||Sri Lanka||18||1990|
Ajit Agarkar hit the fastest fifty in ODIs for the Indian cricket team in 2000. His 21-ball fifty helped India beat Zimbabwe by 39 runs.
Fastest fifty in T20 cricket
Amongst the many accolades in his career, Yuvraj Singh is fondly remembered as the player with the fastest fifty in T20 cricket.
The knock came against England in the 2007 T20 World Cup. Yuvraj smashed three fours and seven sixes in his 16-ball 58, and six of those came off a Stuart Broad over. This made the flamboyant Indian all-rounder the second player in international cricket and the fourth in cricket history to slam six sixes in an over.
|Chris Gayle||Melbourne Renegades||Adelaide Strikers||12||2016|
|Hazratullah Zazai||Kabul Zwanan||Balkh Legends||12||2018|
Yuvraj Singh’s feat, which is a record in the international format, would be matched by Chris Gayle (2016) and Hazratullah Zazai (2018) in 20-overs franchise cricket.
While Gayle’s 12-ball fifty came in a Melbourne Renegades vs Adelaide Strikers match in the 2016 Big Bash League, Zazai achieved the feat in a 2018 Afghanistan Premier League match between Kabul Zwanan and Balkh Legends.
Most recently, Pat Cummins matched KL Rahul’s record for the fastest fifty in the Indian T20 League. Cummins hit 50 runs off 14 balls in Kolkata’s fixture against Mumbai, thus equalling KL Rahul’s 2018 record he set against Delhi in 2018.
Author: William Paul
Featured photo: AFP / ALEXANDER JOE