Harry Brook puts World Cup disappointment behind him after hitting fastest ton in Hundred history

Brook hit a superb knock after a disappointing week  (Getty Images)
Brook hit a superb knock after a disappointing week (Getty Images)

Harry Brook sent a timely riposte to England’s selectors by walloping the Hundred’s fastest century just days after being left out of the World Cup squad.

The Northern Superchargers batter hit a remarkable unbeaten 105 off 42 balls in Tuesday night’s defeat to Welsh Fire at Headingley, to single-handedly rescue an innings in which only one teammate reached double-figures.

However, the knock proved to be in vain as the visitors chased down a target of 159 with ten balls to spare to keep their hopes of reaching the knockout stages alive.

Brook is not among the 15-man squad for next month’s ODI series against New Zealand, the same group that, barring injury, England plan to take to India for their World Cup defence in the autumn.

The Yorkshireman was effectively a victim of Ben Stokes’s return from retirement, which put a squeeze on middle-order places, and said last week that he “can’t complain” at having to make way for arguably England’s greatest ever all-round cricketer.

Men’s selector Luke Wright has already confirmed that Brook is likely to be named among the three travelling reserves for the tournament but England do not have to formally submit their final squad until late next month and already there are calls for a rethink over the 24-year-old’s omission.

“I was just trying to hit the ball hard and straight,” Brook said. “I had a lot of clarity out there.

“We’ll see what happens with the World Cup - I just want to concentrate on every game, whoever it is for, and see what happens.”

Brook will have further opportunity to state his case when England’s four-match T20 series against New Zealand gets underway in Durham next week, but will play no further part in the Hundred, with the Superchargers’ defeat last night ending their hopes of a playoff berth.

Oval Invincibles have already qualified directly for Sunday’s men’s final at Lord’s, leaving three teams fighting for two places in the Eliminator on Saturday.

Manchester Originals’s strong net-run-rate means they are likely to progress even if they lose their final game to Southern Brave tonight, but the Brave must win to overhaul Welsh Fire, who currently occupy third spot.

In the women’s competition, the Brave, Fire and Superchargers have already qualified, with the former top of the table and needing only to avoid a heavy defeat in their final game against Originals this afternoon to secure direct passage to the final.