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Shakti Singh scored India's fastest first-class century, not Rishabh Pant

India Today logo India Today 09-11-2016

Delhi batsman Rishabh Pant may have scored the fastest first-class hundred off 48 balls in a Ranji Trophy match against Jharkhand, going past the previous best set by former India and Tamil Nadu opener VB Chandrasekhar, who got to his century off 56 balls in an Irani Cup match against Rest of India.

But it really was Shakti Singh who had smashed the fastest first-class ton from 42 balls and unfortunately there is no mention of this milestone in the record books due to absence of official scorers during that Ranji Trophy match between Himachal Pradesh and Haryana in 1990-91.

Coming in to bat at No.8, Singh went after Haryana's bowling attack which included former India bowler Chetan Sharma. The fast bowler's innings of 128 was studded with seven fours and 14 sixes.

Singh, who is now a match referee with the BCCI told the Times of India that in that match, his team-mates started the count when he neared his half-century.

"The unofficial stat is I got to my century in 42 balls. That was the time when there were no official scorers and scoring was done by the team members," says Singh. "I remember going in at number eight and started to hit my shots and it was only when I neared by fifty that they (team members) started to count. I got to my fifty in 18 balls with two fours and seven sixes. I went on to hit three more fours and five more sixes and hardly blocked four or five deliveries. But the number of balls was not recorded. However, my official time registered to get to the 100 was 59 minutes," Singh told TOI Sports.

Singh represented Delhi and Himachal Pradesh in a career spanning 16 years and retired from the game in 2003 with 200 first-class wickets. After retirement, Singh also did some playback singing for a few Bollywood movies.

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