Despite ending up on the losing side, Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana hogged the limelight during his team’s opening encounter at the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2020 against India on Sunday. Pathirana, who gave away 49 runs in his eight overs versus India, bowled one delivery which not only caught everyone’s attention but also broke Shoaib Akhtar’s 16-year-old record. However, whether the youngster actually clocked the unprecedented speed or it was speed gun error – it is still not clear.
The name of the 17-year-old pacer (Matheesha Pathirana) has been continuously making rounds on social media for supposedly breaking Akhtar’s record of ‘fastest delivery’ ever bowled by a bowler across all levels. In Bloemfontein on Sunday, Pathirana bowled a wide delivery to India’s batting prodigy Yashasvi Jaiswal during the fourth over of the innings. Akhtar holds the current WC for “fastest delivery” when he clocked 161.3kph (100mph) versus England during the ICC World Cup 2003.
The speedometer on the side of the scorecard showed that the delivery was bowled at a speed of 175kmp (or 108 mph). The ball was given a wide by the umpire. What’s more interesting is taht, none of the commentators also noticed the astronomical number appeared on the screen and neither they passed any comment about youngster’s pace.
But if we go by the look of it, it is unlikely that Pathirana had broken Akhtar’s record of ‘fastest delivery bowled’ in the sport. The world body of cricket – International Cricket Council (ICC) are yet to make an official statement on the same.
Here are some reactions from the fans who were left stunned by the delivery:
In the past, the young speedster has often been compared to legendary Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga because of similar bowling action. Representing Trinity College in a local league game, Pathirana took 6 wickets for just 7 runs in a college game in September 2019.