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Two terrifying Shoaib Akhtar spells you have to watch

Shoaib Akhtar
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Shoaib Akhtar, in his prime, was undoubtedly one of the fastest bowlers to ever play the game.

The holder of record for the fastest recorded ball in cricket’s history, according to the Guinness World Records, Akhtar has delivered his fair share of frightening spells over the years.

His peak arguably came during New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan in 2002. In the space of a few weeks, Akhtar recorded a pair of six-fors against New Zealand, the first in an ODI at Karachi, the second during a Test at Lahore.

In both spells, blew the New Zealand line-up away with a series of well-directed yorkers, mixed with the occasional bouncer, around the 95 miles per hour mark that were regularly just too quick for the batsmen. His dismissal of Andre Adams in Karachi even broke the off stump.

The spell in Lahore was arguably more impressive. In the game’s first innings, Pakistan posted 643 in their first innings as Inzamam-ul-Haq scored a triple century. Akhtar’s breathtaking spell of 6-11, where he bowled four of New Zealand’s top five, meant that New Zealand’s response lasted little more than a session as Pakistan bundled them out for just 73 giving Pakistan a handy first innings lead of 570.


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