Each side plays its part in the farce of cricket's fastest century

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The Independent Online
GLEN CHAPPLE, a 19-year-old Lancashire all-rounder, scored the fastest century in the history of first-class cricket yesterday when he reached three figures in 21 minutes before a handful of spectators at Old Trafford. But it was not an occasion that had lovers of the game celebrating.

Chapple reached his mark thanks to the collusion of the Lancashire and Glamorgan captains after rain had affected their county championship match. In the hope of producing a result other than the draw for which the game was heading, two Glamorgan batsmen, Matthew Maynard and Tony Cottey, bowled full tosses while the fielders stood and watched the ball cross the ropes. Glamorgan's Viv Richards even kicked a ball towards the boundary. Chapple and his partner, Gary Yates, took Lancashire's score to 235 for one in 12 overs and just 30 minutes. Lancashire then declared, setting Glamorgan 243 to win.

Chapple hit Cottey's third over for 6-6-4-6-6-6 and at one point scored eight sixes off 10 deliveries.

The runs came so fast that neither of the two scorers could confirm Chapple's record time, although the consensus was 21 minutes. The scorers were using the newly-installed Test and County Cricket Board computer and Lancashire's Bill Davis admitted that he could not keep up with the scoring rate.

The previous record, 26 minutes, was held by the Australian Tom Moody, for Warwickshire against Glamorgan three years ago. Chapple's time improved by 14 minutes his own county's record, 35 minutes by Steve O'Shaughnessy against Leicestershire at Old Trafford in 1983.

All three innings were 'artificial' and will not be compared, by Wisden, with the record of Percy Fender of Surrey, 35 minutes in 1920. Wisden now differentiates between innings scored to bring forward an early declaration and those scored against competitive bowling. Chapple's achievement, moreover, was all in vain. Glamorgan won by seven wickets with five overs to spare.

Match report, page 32