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Zeko Burgess’s fifty off 11 balls up there with world’s fastest

Zeko Burgess, the Bailey's Bay all-rounder, smashed a half-century off just 11 balls against Willow Cuts on Sunday, one ball faster than the world record. Here, he is seen hitting one of his five sixes during a recent knock of 54 against Southampton Rangers in a losing cause (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

The engine-powered machines off Ferry Reach for the Around the Island Power Boat Race were not the only things going at high speed in Bailey’s Bay on Sunday.

Zeko Burgess, the Bailey’s Bay all-rounder, might just have achieved a world record for a Twenty20 match with his 12-ball innings of 58 against Willow Cuts, which took just seven minutes to complete!

However, his half-century was reached in 11 balls, which, were it to be recognised by the International Cricket Council, would have bettered the previous fastest fifties scored.

But global records in cricket are recognised only from international, first-class and List A cricket, but not in domestic amateur leagues such as Bermuda’s.

West Indies star Chris Gayle in 2016, India’s Yuvraj Singh in 2017 and Hazratullah Zazai, of Afghanistan, in 2018 each took 12 balls to reach fifty.

Gayle achieved his playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the Australia Big Bash League against the Adelaide Strikers; Yuvraj against England in a T20 international and Zazai for the Kabul Zwanan against the Balkh Legends in the Afghanistan Premier League.

Burgess, better known as a fast bowler although he is a regular in the top six for Bay in the shortest version of the game, scored 56 of those 58 runs in boundaries after coming in at No 5. He smashed eight sixes and two fours as Bay posted 215 for five on their way to an 85-run victory at Sea Breeze Oval.

Irving Romaine, the Bay coach, experienced the excitement at the club after Burgess’s innings having earlier been out on the water to watch the boat race.

“I think if it was an international or first-class match it would [recognised],” Romaine said. “If it was a recognised match I think it would be a world record, but our league isn’t of that standard.

“That’s one of the fastest fifties in the world!”

Burgess came to the crease in the sixteenth over at 120 for three and scored 58 of the next 68 runs in a partnership with captain Terryn Fray. Burgess departed two overs and one ball later, caught by Faheem Swan off Solomon Burrows, his dashing knock overshadowing Fray’s 47 off 35 balls.

Fray batted on after Burgess was dismissed befure he was bowled on the last ball of the innings, just missing out on his own half-century.

Burrows and Kwasi James felt the force of Burgess’s bat, Burrows going for 45 runs and James for 57.

Burrows bowled just two overs, giving up four sixes and a four while James was hit for five sixes and four fours in the four overs he bowled. There were 12 sixes in the Bay innings, eight coming off the bat of Burgess in a brutal display of batting.

“It was a spectacle to watch because he was hitting the ball so clean, six after six,” said Fray, content to play second fiddle after Burgess joined him at the crease.

“No, I didn’t mind at all,” Fray said. “Zeko knows his role and anybody who comes to watch Bailey’s Bay understands his role. He fulfilled his role to perfection that day.

“He may have hit five or six sixes consecutively and, of course, it was a nice crowd because the boat race was going on. It was definitely something to watch. Incredible!”

The other two runs for Burgess came in a double from an overthrow after an edge to third man, Fray recalls.

“That [innings] was something to be proud of,” he said. “Last year his hundred might have been the fastest hundred in T20 cricket in Bermuda.

“He’s had two monumental feats in two seasons. Kudos to him. He plays a big part in our team and hopefully he continues to put his hand up and does what he has to do.”

The century Fray was referring to was against St George’s in a T20 match last July at Somerset Cricket Club when Burgess scored 129 off just 46 balls with 14 fours and six fours in an eight-wicket win for Bay.

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Published August 13, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated August 13, 2021 at 7:52 am)

Zeko Burgess’s fifty off 11 balls up there with world’s fastest

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