Australian all-rounder Sean Abbott has been left astonished by his own record-breaking exploits after equalling the fastest-ever hundred hit in English T20 cricket.
The Surrey player simply destroyed Kent’s bowling at the Oval in the T20 Blast competition, blasting to three figures in just 34 balls on Friday night to match the competition record set by his late, great compatriot Andrew Symonds for Kent against Middlesex 19 years ago.
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Yet the modest Abbott, who’s quickly become a popular figure with the county champions, paid tribute to one of Australian cricket’s old heroes afterwards, shrugging: “I don’t think people should be talking about me and ‘Roy’ in the same breath.”
“I don’t think I’ll get much sleep tonight but to share that one with Roy, he’s a hero of mine and hopefully we get to share a beer upstairs and have a chat about it some day,” Abbott told Sky Sports.
It was an astounding knock which featured 11 sixes and seven fours, including 30 coming in the 17th over – 6-4-6-4-4-6 – off his luckless Australia pace colleague Kane Richardson.
Even more remarkably, the 31-year-old Abbott, who rescued a difficult situation for Surrey after coming in at 4-64, had previously never scored a fifty – his best had been 41 – in 76 T20 innings.
Instead, his 110 not out off 41 balls completely transformed the match, taking Surrey to 5-223 before they went on to limit Kent to 7-182 and seal a 41-run victory.
“Have to have a chat with Moises Henriques (his captain at the Sydney Sixers) back home – maybe I’m batting too low!” laughed Abbott, when asked on Sky TV about the transformation from a man who’d only made 51 runs in seven innings in the entire 2022-23 BBL.
“No, we’ve got a class side back home at the Sixers, so I can’t ask to bat too much higher. Just grateful for this opportunity.
“This isn’t going to sink in for a while. First (Blast) game at the Oval in front of a home crowd (of 17,000), I haven’t batted that well for a while, nice to go out there and make the most of it. I had a little bit of luck – but, boy, that was a lot of fun.”
The luck came when, after being shunted up the order to No.6 and racing to his half-century off 23 balls, including three sixes bludgeoned over long-on off George Linde, he got dropped by the same player off Joey Evison when he’d powered on to 87.
But Abbott couldn’t be stopped and reached the landmark with two more back-to-back sixes off another Australian, Kent’s 41-year-old veteran Michael Hogan.
Fastest T20 hundreds in history
Chris Gayle – 30 balls (Royal Challengers Bangalore v Pune Warriors in Bangalore) 2013
Rishabh Pant – 32 balls (Delhi v Himachal Pradesh in Delhi) 2018
Wihan Lubbe – 33 balls (North West v Limpopo in Paarl) 2018
Andrew Symonds – 34 balls (Kent v Middlesex in Maidstone) 2004
Sean Abbott – 34 balls (Surrey v Kent at The Oval) 2023
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