Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq leads the list for the fastest fifty in Test cricket, with his record 21-ball half-century against Australia in an Abu Dhabi Test in 2014.

Misbah, who played 75 Tests for the Pakistan cricket team, slammed four boundaries and four sixes as he reached the milestone in just 24 minutes, a record for the fastest fifty in Test cricket by minutes.

The middle-order batter would go on to score an unbeaten 101 in the Test and join a list of cricketers to score centuries in both innings of a Test match.

Australian opener David Warner is the second player to hit the fastest fifty in Test cricket. The southpaw took 23 balls to reach 50 in the third Test between Australia and Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in 2017.

Warner’s effort helped Australia to a confident start of 53/0 in 13 overs as he broke a 39-year-old national record previously set by Bruce Yardley against West Indies in 1978.

Since David Warner’s 23-ball fifty, Jacques Kallis (24 balls vs Zimbabwe, 2005), Shane Shillingford (25 balls vs New Zealand, 2014) and Shahid Afridi (26 balls vs India, 2005) have registered the fastest fifty in Test cricket among international cricketers.

Fastest 50 in Test: The top five list

Player Opponents Balls faced Year
Misbah-ul-Haq Australia 21 2014
David Warner Pakistan 23 2017
Jacques Kallis Zimbabwe 24 2005
Shane Shillingford New Zealand 25 2014
Shahid Afridi India 26 2005

Bangladesh’s Mohammad Ashraful (Bangladesh v India, 2007) and Dale Steyn (South Africa v West Indies, 2014) matched Afridi’s 26-ball feat of the fastest fifty in Test cricket.

Fastest 50 in Test for India: Rishabh Pant the new record holder

Rishabh Pant broke Kapil Dev's 40-year-old record for the fastest fifty in Test cricket by an Indian batter in a Pink-ball Test between India and Sri Lanka in 2022.

Pant slammed seven fours and two sixes to reach his fifty in just 28 deliveries in the second innings of the second Test at the M Chinnaswamy in Bengaluru. In doing so, the wicketkeeper-batter surpassed Kapil Dev’s effort of 30 balls against Pakistan in Karachi in 1982.

Rishabh Pant also broke MS Dhoni's record for the fastest fifty by a wicket-keeper batter in Test cricket. Pant’s 28-ball effort broke Dhoni’s record of 34 balls that the former shared with former Australia gloveman Ian Smith.

All-rounder Shardul Thakur initially came close to breaking Kapil Dev’s record when he hit a 31-ball fifty against England in an Oval Test in 2021.

Player Opponents Balls faced Year
Rishabh Pant Sri Lanka 28 2022
Kapil Dev Pakistan 30 1982
Shardul Thakur England 31 2021
Virender Sehwag England 32 2008

Author: William Paul

Featured photo: AFP / ISHARA S.KODIKARA