Delhi Daredevils star man Anrich Nortje bowled the fastest ball in Indian Premier League history on Wednesday night but he says he had absolutely no idea.
Nortje was named Player of the Match after his starring role with 2-33 from four overs as Delhi Daredevils returned to top spot with a 13-run win over Rajasthan Royals in Dubai on Wednesday night.
Next ball, Nortje produced a delivery at 155.1 km p/hr to clean bowl the Englishman for 22 from nine balls in a crucial breakthrough after Rajasthan started brightly in pursuit of Delhi’s 7-161.
“No idea I bowled at 156 kilometres tonight but good to hear it,” Nortje said post-game. “I’ve been feeling really good so it is nice to see some results.
“Jos played them really well. I thought I was a touch full. The first ball I didn’t expect him to go.
“I thought it was best to stick to my strength: trying to hit the stumps and bowl fast. Maybe he was expecting something else, a short ball or something.”
Delhi’s 7-161 came after they won the toss and elected to bat first, as all sides have learned to do at Dubai this season and despite losing Prithvi Shaw for a golden duck to Jofra Archer (who took 3-19), they fought hard to post a good score.
In reply, struggling Rajasthan started well with Buttler and Ben Stokes at the top of the order, with the latter blasting 41 from 35 balls in his second game back following quaranitne.
But captain Steve Smith (1) failed again and their middle order couldn’t find an adequate run rate, particularly after Nortje dismissed Robin Uthappa from 32 from 27 balls.
“That’s a disappointing one,” Smith said, after the Royals slumped into second last position after five losses from their past six games.
“Obviously the wicket slowed up a fair but, but we got off to a good start with Jos and Stokesy. Then Sanju and Stokesy got a partnership going but we lost too many wickets.
“On a slow wicket it is difficult to make up runs in the end. We needed to take it deep with set batsmen. Guys kept getting in and kept getting out.”