On Sunday, January 19, India and Sri Lanka faced off in the U19 World Cup at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley. In the end, Priyam Garg’s Boys in Blue won by 90 runs, bowling the opposition out for 207 in 45.2 overs. However, from Lanka’s perspective, one player who grabbed a fair bit of the limelight was 17-year-old right-arm fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana.
The speedster has an action, reminiscent of the legendary Lasith Malinga. The pacer didn’t have the greatest of days with the ball in hand as he couldn’t get a wicket. Pathirana wasn’t able to keep a check on the runs either, giving away 49 runs in his eight overs. But one of his deliveries furrowed a few eyebrows as the pacer clocked a stunning 175 kph on the speed gun.
Pathirana cranks it up in Kimberley
In the fourth over of India’s batting innings, Pathirana dug the ball on the pitch hard. But the leather went down the leg side. The keeper moved on to his right and gathered the ball and the umpire gave it a wide. Then on the right corner of the screen, the speed of the delivery showed at 108 mph. It can spark doubts of some technical glitch taking place while calculating the speed.
— venu_gopal_rao_fans (@CricketVideos16) January 20, 2020
It was the fastest recorded ball ever recorded at any level of international cricket. Before it, Shoaib Akhtar clocked one at 161.3 kph during an ODI against England at the Newlands in Cape Town during the 2003 World Cup. The likes of Shaun Tait and Brett Lee have also touched the 160 kph mark. For the time being, that record belongs to the upcoming young bowler from Lanka.
Pathirana has come into the headlines even earlier. Back in September 2019, he took six wickets, giving away only seven wickets during a college match. In that contest, he played for the Trinity College Kandy and picked the bones out of batsmen with lethal and pin-point yorkers.
Trinity College Kandy produces another Slinga !!
— Nibraz Ramzan (@nibraz88cricket) September 26, 2019
The seamer has to bring forth his A-game if Lanka are to make a comeback in the ongoing World Cup in South Africa. Sri Lanka’s second match in Group A is against New Zealand on January 22 at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein.
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