Meet 17-year-old Lankan pacer Pathirana, fastest in the world

Matheesha Pathirana’s slingshot and yorkers are similar to Sri Lankan great Lasith Malinga

Matheesha Pathirana, Lasith Malinga, Shoaib Akhtar, Under-19 World Cup, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sri Lanka vs India, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait
The teen surpassed Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar’s fastest delivery of 161.3kph (100mph) in an ODI against England during the 2003 World Cup. Photo: @ICC/Twitter

On Sunday (January 20) when the world rejoiced India’s win over Australia, a 17-year-old created history during an Under-19 World Cup match in Bloemfontein.

Sri Lanka’s fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana stole the limelight when he bowled a wide delivery to Yashasvi Jaiswal, in the fourth over of the Indian innings at 175kph (108 mph), making it the fastest recorded ball ever bowled in international cricket – across all levels.

Though the match turned out in India’s favour after the Islanders went down by 90 runs in their World Cup opener, the teen surpassed Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar’s fastest delivery of 161.3kph (100mph) in an ODI against England during the 2003 World Cup.

Meanwhile, the fear of technical error started hovering over the speed-gun but there has been no official denial or correction from the International Cricket Council (ICC) regarding the same. This also implies that the teen pacer now has a world record up his sleeve.

Shaun Tait’s delivery against England in 2010 and Brett Lee’s spell against New Zealand in 2005 shared the third spot in the list of fastest balls bowled in the history of senior international cricket at 161.1kph.

But this is not the first time Pathirana has taken over social media. His pace action which seems similar to that of the Lankan great Lasith Malinga awarded him 6 wickets for just 7 runs in a college match in 2019. His yorkers are also feared by many in Trinity College, Kandy just like his idol who used to eye the stumps and sent many batsmen back to the dressing rooms for rare ducks.

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