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March 26, 2007
Matthew Hayden's century against South Africa was so convincing it swayed the people of St Kitts to make him one of their own. Hayden not only left the ground as the fastest scorer of a World Cup hundred, but he was also granted honorary St Kitts citizenship and a life membership of the Royal St Kitts Golf Club.
Hayden's stay on the island lasted one more night as Australia left for Antigua to prepare for the first Super Eight match against West Indies on Tuesday. However, it was a memorable visit after he thrashed to three figures off only 66 balls. Herschelle Gibbs was also given citizenship by the country's prime minister after the game for his six sixes in an over against The Netherlands.
"It is a tremendous honour," Hayden said in The Australian. "We have really enjoyed our stay here. It is a bit of a bonus."
Hayden's early burst of 14 fours and four sixes was crucial in setting up Australia's total of 6 for 377 on the way to an 83-run win, which earned them two points to take into the Super Eights. A year ago Hayden was not part of the one-day side, but after two record-breaking centuries in his past four innings he is an essential member again.
Entering the tournament with a broken big toe, Hayden has scores of 60, 29 and 101 to improve on his previous World Cup in 2003. "In the last World Cup we had a lot of great starts, Gilly and I," he said. "We had solid tournaments without being exceptional. This time we feel much more experienced cricketers and have seen the highs and lows a World Cup can bring, the weight of expectations." Hayden said he did not handle the extra pressure well last time, when he scored 328 runs.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the day from the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi