When Bradman made 100 in 22 balls

REWIND — Impressed by Gayle’s achievements? Read about what Sir Donald did in 1931.


“There was always been a sort of aura surrounding fast centuries,” once said the great Don Bradman, himself the owner of many unbelievably fast hundreds.

Two days ago, Chris Gayle scored one in 30 balls in an IPL match against Pune Warriors. It is the fastest hundred on record in all forms of professional cricket. But Bradman being Bradman achieved something even more mind-boggling during the course of a village game on November 2, 1931.

Up in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales is a village called Blackheath. On the fateful day, Bradman and his colleague from the New South Wales Sheffield Shield team, Oscar Wendell Bill, had been invited to a game against Lithgow. The game was meant for the inauguration of a new concrete pitch at their oval.

“The Lithgow experiment was new to me in that I had never seen a pitch with a malthoid top,” Bradman said many years later. “I’m still not sure if it was laid on a bitumen base or on concrete but it was perfectly flat and very smooth.”

Turf wickets are difficult — and rather expensive — to create and maintain in the countryside. Concrete wickets, on the other hand, are easy to make and require little maintenance. Just slap on a matting on the surface and get on with it. 

"I think I'll have a go" were the words.“The pitch proved ideal for batting in that the ball came off it at a gentle pace and with a particularly uniform and predictable bounce,” Bradman said.

During the course of the innings, the Lithgow side brought on Bill Black, a bowler who had dismissed Bradman for 52 in a village game in September the same year, and had been boasting all over town about his conquest.

Bradman saw the bowler and famously said to Wendell Bill, “I think I will have a go.” What followed was brutality.

“I scored 33 in the first over,” he said. “Three sixes, three fours and a two – and then getting a single off the last ball which gave me the strike for the second over in which I made 40 with four sixes and four fours. This gave Wendell the strike for the third over. He made one, after which I hit two sixes and a single. Wendell made a single off the fifth ball and then I finished the over with two fours and a six.”

In three eight-ball overs, Bradman had scored one hundred runs. The time estimated was 18 minutes which would be a comfortable world record despite the time lost while “the ball was being retrieved from across the road, front yards and pine trees…there were plenty of small boys scrambling for the honour of returning it,” notes the Bradman Foundation.

“It is important I think to emphasise that the thing was not planned,” Bradman said. “It happened purely by accident and everyone was surprised by the outcome no one more so than I. In fact I was unaware of the result until I subsequently read about it in the newspapers.”

Bradman made 256 in all in that innings, with 14 sixes and 29 fours. He kept the bat — a Sykes 4 Crown willow — with which he destroyed the Lithgow bowlers, possibly scoring some more hundreds with it in domestic and Test cricket through that summer before breaking it.

Later, Bradman gifted the bat to the Lithgow mayor Peter Sutton. It passed hands many times and now rests with the Bradman Foundation.

“I don’t know whether my hundred in three overs is a record,” Bradman said. “All I can say is that I have never heard of anything similar.” We haven’t, either. 

***

The break-up of those three overs:

1st Over — 6, 6, 4, 2, 4, 4, 6, 1 (33, all to Bradman)

2nd Over — 6, 4, 4, 6, 6, 4, 6, 4 (40, all to Bradman)

3rd Over — 1*, 6, 6, 1, 1*, 4, 4, 6 (27 to Bradman, 2* to Wendell Bill).

References: The Bradman Trail & The Bradman Foundation. TAG:CYCSPL

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have been able to purchase batting replacements for the loss of Michael Hussey and spin reinforcements in the form of Samuel Badree. They appear… More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »