Cricket: Local league batsman Omaidurai Thilipan creates Singapore cricket league record with quick-fire half-ton

Omaidurai Thilipan is all smiles after his dazzling innings. He made a huge impression after failing with the bat in the league last year.
Omaidurai Thilipan is all smiles after his dazzling innings. He made a huge impression after failing with the bat in the league last year.PHOTO: COURTESY OF THANJAI CC

Thanjai CC batsman creates Singapore cricket league record with 50 off 13 balls

Construction industry employee Omaidurai Thilipan said the stage is set for more fireworks from him, after he scored one of the fastest 50s in local cricket last Sunday.

The 25-year-old, playing for Thanjai CC, slammed 55 not out off just 14 balls against Ceylon Sports Club in a Singapore Cricket Association Premier League match at the Indian Association (IA) ground along Balestier Road.

His 50, which came of just 13 balls and comprised seven sixes and two fours, is considered the fastest scored in an SCA 50-overs-a-side league match.

National team captain Chetan Suryawanshi, playing for IA, scored 105 not out in 36 balls against Singapore Cricket Club in an SCA Division One (then the top flight) one-day league match at the Padang on Aug 3, 2014.

But his first 50 came off 19 balls and his second in 15 balls.

What is remarkable about Thilipan's innings is that he started playing with a cricket ball only last year, after being a tennis-ball cricketer for most of his life.

  • Quick off the mark at home and abroad

    • The fastest 50 scored in a Twenty20 match in Singapore is Sagar Kulkarni's 12-ball effort in a knock of 219 not out for Marina Desi Boys against Singapore Pakistani Association in the SCA Twenty20 Challenge tournament in March 2008 at the Kallang Cricket Field.

    • In a 30-overs-a-side SCA Division 3 league match, a 50 off 13 balls was scored by Manojkumar Yadav for Ceylon Sports Club (CSC) against Wanderers CC at the CSC ground on April 11, 2015.

    • The fastest 50 in an international 50-overs-a-side match belongs to South Africa's A.B. de Villiers, who achieved that feat off 16 balls against the West Indies in Johannesburg on Jan 18, 2015.

"I get time to practise with a cricket ball only on Saturday evenings," said the office assistant, who works for Shimizu Corporation at its construction site in Bishan. "But I was determined to do well as I did not do anything noteworthy in the league last year.

"I am a big hitter and my captain gave me the freedom to go for my shots as my team were well-placed (Thanjai were 274-5 in 46.3 overs when he went in to bat and they finished on 346-5 in 50 overs).

Thanjai won the match by 183 runs after restricting CSC to 163-8 in 50 overs.

"The bowling was tough but I wanted to make a big impression," he added. "It is by far my best innings. I now have the confidence to get bigger scores in the league against better opposition."

IA Hawks captain Karthik Raamesh, 32, who watched the innings, said it was clean hitting by Thilipan, who hails from Tamil Nadu state in India and has been working in Singapore for the past six years.

"It was not a slog," said Raamesh. "Of course the CSC bowlers did not have the experience to pitch the ball in the right zones at the death, but the sixes he hit were well-timed and huge, easily clearing 75 metres. He waited for the right ball to hit, it was a well-defined innings."

Thanjai captain Surya Narayanan also expressed kudos to Thilipan.

"He always plays like this," said the 36-year-old.

"We tried him out at the top of the order a few times, but he failed. This time I gave him the licence to go for the kill and he delivered.

"He is an outstanding all-rounder and showed his real talent. He also brings energy to our team with his enthusiastic bowling (medium pace) and fielding. This innings I'm sure will be a turning point for him."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2017, with the headline 'Thilipan blasts quick-fire half-ton'. Print Edition | Subscribe