Quickfire half centuries have become increasingly common in modern cricket, especially in the shortest Twenty20 or T20 format of the game.
Despite the numerous blitzkriegs by batters over the past decade-and-a-half, though, former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh holds the record for the fastest 50 in T20 cricket, courtesy his memorable knock against England at Durban in the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup in 2007.
In the group stage match, Yuvraj Singh reached his half-century in just 12 balls to pocket the record. The Indian’s knock is also the fastest 50 in T20 Internationals (T20Is)
During his 58 off 16 balls, Yuvraj Singh hit three fours and seven sixes, six of which came in consecutive balls in a single Stuart Broad over. It was the first time any player hit six sixes in a single over in T20 cricket.
India went on to win the match and eventually the tournament beating Pakistan in a thriller.
Yuvraj Singh’s record hasn’t been broken since but has been equalled twice, albeit not in any high-profile international match.
West Indies’ Chris Gayle, playing for Melbourne Renegades in Australia’s Big Bash League in 2016, hit a 12-ball 50 against Adelaide Strikers. Gayle, who holds the record for the fastest T20 century, ended with 56 off just 17 balls but his team lost the match.
Two years later, Afghanistan international Hazratullah Zazai also registered a 12-ball 50 in an Afghanistan Premier League match at Sharjah. Opening the batting for Kabul Zwanan, Zazai hit Balkh Legends spinner Abdullah Mazari for six sixes in an over to score 62 runs off just 17. The Zwanans, however, lost the match despite Zazai’s heroics.
After Yuvraj, Gayle and Zazai, three players have scored T20 half centuries off 13 deliveries.
Former England opener Marcus Trescothick achieved the feat while playing for county team Somerset against Hampshire in 2010 and Austria’s Mirza Ahsan hit the mark in 2019 against Luxembourg to become the second-fastest half-centurion in T20 Internationals.
West Indian spinner Sunil Narine, interestingly, matched it while playing for Comilla Victorians against Chattogram Challengers in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2022.
Fastest fifty in the IPL
There are as many as 11 entries in the 14-ball T20 50s club. The most notable ones include KL Rahul’s knock for the Kings XI Punjab against the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2018. It remains the fastest 50 in IPL history.
KL Rahul smashed six boundaries and four sixes in the innings to steer KXIP to a convincing victory in their opener that season.
In IPL 2022, Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Pat Cummins matched the record for the fastest 50 in the IPL, taking 14 balls to reach the milestone in a match against the Mumbai Indians at the DY Patil Stadium in Pune. KKR won the match with four overs and five wickets to spare.
Aussie Cummins' knock included four boundaries and six sixes, and smashing 35 runs off compatriot Daniel Sams' over.
New Zealand’s Colin Munro and Romania’s Ramesh Satheesan jointly hold the record for the third-quickest 50s in T20 international cricket. Munro scored his 14-ball half century against Sri Lanka in 2016 while Satheesan achieved his record against Serbia in 2021.
Fastest T20 fifty in women's cricket
New Zealand’s Sophie Devine holds the record for the fastest T20 fifty in women’s cricket, taking just 18 balls to reach her half-century against India in 2015.
India’s Smriti Mandhana has since equalled the mark during a Kia Super League match while playing for Western Storm against Loughborough Lightning.
Fastest half century in Asian Games cricket
In Asian Games cricket, Bangladesh’s Mohammad Mithun’s 59 off 25 balls against Kuwait at Incheon 2014 is the T20 50 scored with the best strike rate in the men’s event.
For women, Pakistan great Nida Dar’s unbeaten 51 off 43 deliveries is the most quickfire T20 half century at the Asian Games.
The Asian Games 2022 later this year will involve both men’s and women’s T20 cricket competitions. For the Commonwealth Games 2022, India are confirmed as one of the eight teams at the women’s-only T20 event.