Against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club, Abhishek Sharma became the third cricketer from a Full Member nation to hit a hundred in his second T20I appearance.

Abhishek Sharma was one of three Indian debutants in the first T20I of the five-match series between Zimbabwe and India. He had a forgettable outing where he bowled two overs but did not get a wicket, and neither did he hold a catch. When it was his turn to bat, he fell for a four-ball duck as India slumped to a 13-run defeat.

Record-breaking 46-ball hundred in second T20I

However, Abhishek turned things around in the second T20I, where he blasted a 46-ball hundred, the joint third-fastest for India and their joint-fastest away from home. KL Rahul had also hit a 46-ball hundred against the West Indies at Lauderhill in 2016.

This was also the fastest T20I hundred by anyone in Zimbabwe: Abhishek eclipsed Aaron Finch’s 50-ball effort from 2016, also at Harare.

Abhishek went from 82 to 100 with three consecutive sixes off Wellington Masakadza but perished off the next ball while trying for a fourth as the miscued shot flew to short third. He fell for a round hundred, off 47 balls, with seven fours and eight sixes. Only Rohit Sharma (10 against Sri Lanka, Indore 2017) and Suryakumar Yadav (nine against Sri Lanka, Rajkot 2023) have hit more sixes in a T20I innings for India Men.

In 2024, Abhishek has hit 584 runs in all Twenty20 at an astonishing strike rate of 203 so far, and has hit exactly 50 sixes off 288 balls – a rate of more than one six per over. It is only July 7, but no one in the history of the format has made 500 runs in a calendar year at a rate this quick.

Abhishek took only two T20Is to bring up his maiden hundred, equalling the world record from Full Member Nation cricketers. While there have been four hundreds on debut in men’s T20Is, all of them were from cricketers from Associate Nations. From Test-playing nations, Evin Lewis and Richard Levi had also got their maiden tons in their second games in the format.

Hundred on men’s T20I debut: Awais Ahmed (Spain), Ravinderpal Singh (Canada), JP Kotze (Namibia), Leslie Dunbar (Serbia), Matthew Spoors (Canada)

Hundred in second men’s T20I of career: Richard Levi (South Africa), Evin Lewis (West Indies), Sivakumar Periyalwar (Romania), Sudesh Wickramasekara (Czech Republic), Sabawoon Davizi (Czech Republic), Azhar Andani (Portugal), Gustav McKeon (France), Michael Levitt (Netherlands), Abhishek Sharma (India)

Deepak Hooda held the previous record for India. He had taken three games to reach his first T20I hundred.

India finished on 234-2, the highest total in men’s T20Is by any touring side in Zimbabwe. The highest in the nation remains Zimbabwe’s 236-5 against Singapore at Bulawayo in 2022.

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