A Sri Lanka leg spinner has stunned Australia with a bizarre new delivery on his way to a trio of wickets in Friday night’s T20 International.
Wanindu Hasaranga showed everyone why he’s the top-ranked bowler in international T20 cricket (also the fifth-best all-rounder) by snaffling Aaron Finch, Glen Maxwell and Steve Smith in a fine spell.
But it was his second over of the game that was truly fascinating, as he delivered six-straight deliveries in an unusual round-arm style, with his right arm barely above his shoulder in an attempt to get the ball to stay low and skid on.
Such was his commitment to the approach that the 24-year-old’s back knee nearly touched the ground as he bent down to release the ball.
And while he was initially panned by Fox Cricket’s commentators, Hasaranga got the last laugh by using the oddball ball to pick up the crucial wicket of Glen Maxwell in a dazzling spell.
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Hasaranga’s special delivery had been smashed for six earlier in the match when he first attempted it.
And Glen Maxwell dispatched another attempted delivery for a boundary in the second ball of Hasaranga’s second over, leaving Fox Cricket commentators to criticise the ball.
“There’s that little round-arm,” Mark Howard said. “Maxwell didn’t have any problems dealing with the underarm pill.”
Shane Warne said: “I’d be giving that ball away … Give it a rest champ, put it back in the locker.”
Mark Waugh added: “I don’t mind that ball in the subcontinent but not here in Australia. It might go underground in the subcontinent but not here.”
Having gone for a single on the first ball, Maxwell plundered three more runs to make it eight off four balls.
But on the fifth ball, Hasaranga delivered a low full-toss which Maxwell tried to send over square leg, only to find the fielder.
Howard: “He tries it again. That’s out! Caught!”
“He gets the last laugh,” Waugh added.
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Upon hearing the bowler himself had not come up with a name for the delivery, Warne took it upon himself to change that.
“We’ve got to come up with a name for it,” Warnie declared.
“Maybe the undertaker, the round-arm undertaker,” he suggested.
“It’s an extraordinary way to deliver it,” Howard said.
Hasaranga bowled out Aaron Finch on his first over, and he dismissed Steve Smith in the same fashion with a wrong-un to finish with figures of 4/38.
He became only the second person to get the trio out in the same innings.