Gilchrist century makes Ashes history - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gilchrist century makes Ashes history

By John Coomber 16/12/2006 09:22:13 PM Comments (0)

Adam Gilchrist scored a century in 57 balls, the fastest in Ashes history, as Australia rubbed England's noses in the dirt at the WACA ground.

Gilchrist's astonishing assault missed Sir Vivian Richards' world record by just one ball, but it easily beat Gilbert Jessop's previous Ashes record of 76 balls at The Oval in 1902.

The onslaught came as England's bowlers and the Barmy Army wilted in temperatures of 40 degrees, with unofficial readings by ground staff as high as 53 degrees in the sun.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting declared at 5-527, then unleashed Brett Lee to trap opener Andrew Strauss LBW for a duck with the fourth ball of England's reply.

The Ashes are as good as Australia's after England endured one of its worst ever days on a cricket field.

Gilchrist's murderous innings of 102 not out in 59 balls put Ian Botham's 1981 centuries (86 and 87 balls) in the shade.

There was plenty of other agony.

Michael Clarke made 135 not out, Mike Hussey 103, Matthew Hayden 92 and Ponting 75.

But everyone paled in comparison to Gilchrist, who took brutal revenge for failing to reach 50 in the previous Ashes series.

He belted an Ashes-record 24 off one over from Monty Panesar, hitting him for 2, 6, 6, 4, 6 off successive deliveries.

He then clubbed fast bowler Steve Harmison for another six off the next ball he faced, moving from 49 to 79 off just six balls.

England was left with the forlorn prospect of surviving another two days and a run chase of 557 with no respite from the Perth heatwave.

At stumps, the beleaguered tourists were 1-19.

Australia is likely to complete a 3-0 series sweep some time to consign England to even more unwanted history.

It is just 15 months and four days since England lifted the urn at The Oval.

No team has ever surrendered the Ashes so swiftly.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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