Delhi Capitals (DC) pacer Anrich Nortje holds a unique record in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The top three fastest deliveries in the history of the IPL is now under the name of the South African pacer. Nortje’s fastest delivery which was timed at 156.2 kmph shattered countryman Dale Steyn’s (154.4 kmph) record on Wednesday as DC used the pace of Nortje and Kagiso Rabada to earn a 13-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.
But as Nortje clocked speeds of 97 mph, Jos Buttler fought fire with fire and ramped him for a four. The exciting battle did not last long as a couple of balls later the Proteas pacer had the last laugh when he destroyed Buttler’s wickets with a 155 kmph thunderbolt (the second fastest ball in IPL history).
His eye-catching performance does raise the question- is Nortje the best overseas find this IPL season? His quality bowling with searing pace is becoming too hot to handle and has already become the go-to bowler for Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer.
The five fastest balls in #IPL2020 so far have been bowled by Anrich Nortje:
— Ashish Sahani (@AshishCupid11) October 14, 2020
Nortje, who was roped in by Delhi Capitals as a replacement for all-rounder Chris Woakes ahead of the start of the season, pushed Steyn down the pecking order on the list of all-time fastest balls in the tournament history. It was all in one over and all six were pitched upon the yorker. The accuracy was a testament to the hard yards on the nets.
Incidentally, Nortje was a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders setup in 2019 but failed to make a mark back then as he was sidelined with a shoulder injury. Hence, this is his maiden IPL season. In 2018, he was also backed by Dale Steyn to succeed at the highest level as an ‘extreme fast bowler’.
KG, Archer, Ana
I’d have paid to watch them live tonight.
Fast bowling is strong, and this competition is being dominated by these beasts!
— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) October 14, 2020
Nortje (2/33) claimed the key wickets of Robin Uthappa (32) and Jos Buttler (22) and together with Rabada (1/28) tied down hard-hitting Rahul Tewatia, in the end, to restrict Rajasthan to 148/8.
The tussle of pace in season 13 of the IPL has so far been dominated by Nortje and Archer.
After the game Nortje said that he was unaware of the feat until after the end of the match.
“I heard about it afterward. I did not know about it at the time,” Anrich told his Capitals teammate Shikhar Dhawan in a video posted by IPLT20.com.
“I have been working really hard to get my pace up, been a couple of seasons. Been working on my braced leg and my front arm… simple stuff. Happy to get some pace behind it but you obviously need to get it in the right area, that’s the most important thing.”
In October 2019, the South African made his entry into the Test format against India and straightaway impressed everyone with his brute pace mixed with consistency.
One of his deliveries hit India’s Mayank Agarwal on the helmet and then went over to the ropes.
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