HONG KONG: Dwayne Smith smashed a whirlwind century off just 31 balls in Hong Kong’s T20 Blitz on Wednesday, one of the fastest tons recorded in Twenty20 cricket.
The 33-year-old West Indian, who retired from international cricket only last week, heaved 28 off the first over alone and finished unbeaten on 121 off 40 balls.
Smith’s century, which guided Kowloon Cantons to an eight-wicket victory over City Kaitak, tested Chris Gayle’s world-record, 30-ball hundred set in the 2013 Indian Premier League.
But Wednesday’s pyrotechnics were on Hong Kong’s modestly sized Mission Road ground, and against an attack which clearly struggled.
Kaitak’s slow left-arm bowler Nadeem Ahmed was the fall guy in the first over, when Smith hit him for four sixes and a four to reach 28 off just five balls.
Ahmed returned to leak 29 runs in the sixth over — his last — when Marlon Samuels hit a four and a single before Smith took strike, hammering another four sixes.
Smith reached his century in the 12th over, when he clobbered the 11th of his 13 sixes off compatriot Rayad Emrit. Samuels was unbeaten on 59 in Kowloon’s 204 for two.
“Well, basically it was a great pitch and I must commend the groundsman for that,” said Smith, according to the South China Morning Post.
“For me, it was just a case of going out there and being confident and staying as positive as I can be. It’s a small ground, a good pitch and that’s a recipe for runs.”
West Indians Smith, Samuels and Darren Sammy, and England’s Ian Bell are among a number of big names appearing at the five-day T20 Blitz, which is now in its second year.