Centurion: Canada's John Davison hit the fastest ever hundred in the history of the World Cup but even that record-breaking performance wasn't enough to deny the West Indies a seven-wicket victory in its Group 'B' clash at SuperSport Park on Sunday. Brian Lara's 73, which featured the fastest fifty of the tournament so far, laid the platform for victory with more than 29 overs to spare as Ramnaresh Sarwan, with an unbeaten 42, also helped to boost the run-rate.
Davison's innings, the first hundred by a Canadian in One-day International cricket, ensured the match would be remembered. Better known as a South Australia off spinner, Davison faced just 67 balls for his hundred which included seven fours and six sixes. His innings broke the 20-year-old World Cup record set by India great Kapil Dev, who needed just 72 balls for his century against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells in 1983. It was also the joint fifth fastest in international Limited Overs history.
The opener's knock was the cornerstone of Canada's 202 all out which was tits best innings in One-day International cricket and a vast improvement on its last outing where it had been dismissed for a world record low of 36 by Sri Lanka. Davison hit a total of six sixes and eight fours in his 76-ball 111 and his innings was all the more remarkable as his previous best at this level was 31 against Kenya in Canada's second match of the tournament.
He had two escapes along the way - on 71, he played a Pedro Collins delivery onto his stumps but the bail was not dislodged while, five runs later, he was dropped by Mervyn Dillon off skipper Carl Hooper. Davison reached three figures with a huge six over long-on against Dillon before he eventually fell to a dramatic, running catch by Drakes at long-on. Earlier opener Ishwar Maraj (16) helped Davison put on 94 - Canada's best partnership for any wicket at this level. Drakes eventually came back well, taking five for 44, as Canada's last five wickets went down for 56. Once West Indies openers Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds failed to put together a commanding stand with Gayle caught behind by Ashish Bagai off Davis Joseph for eight.
But his departure set the stage for a blistering stand of 102 between Hinds and Lara. Left-arm spinner Barry Seebaran saw his first over go for 26 as Lara cut loose bringing up the fastest fifty of the tournament so far in a just 23 balls. However, there was no keeping Davison out of the game. With his third ball he had Hinds stumped by Bagai for 64 to leave the West Indies on 134 for two in the 12th over. It seemed Lara would see his team home but he was bowled by seamer Nicholas Ifill for a 40-ball innings that included five sixes and eight fours. Copyright AFP 2001