Australia’s Mitchell Starc bowled the fastest delivery ever measured at a Test match when the fourth ball of his 21st over at the WACA on Sunday was clocked at 160.4 kilometres per hour.
The left-arm paceman fell just short of joining the “100 miles per hour” club as the speed of the yorker, which was dug out for no run by New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, translates into the imperial scale at 99.67 mph.
The recording of the speed of deliveries is a relatively recent development in the long history of cricket and an inexact science given the lack of uniformity in the speed gun technology utilised.
A delivery from Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar in a one-day international against England in South Africa in 2003, which was measured at 161.3kph, is the fastest on record.
New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan later called into the question whether Starc’s delivery was as fast as Australian broadcasters Channel Nine showed on the screen.
“Maybe someone in the (TV) truck was having a bit of fun,” McMillan told reporters at the WACA.
“It looked pretty similar to a lot of the other deliveries throughout the day that were closer to 150 than 160. I’m not sure whether maybe the wrong button was pushed or what.
“I was a bit surprised when I saw it come up on the TV … I just wonder whether there was a technical problem down at the truck that maybe led to that.”