Mitchell Starc added another dimension to Australia’s formidable attack by becoming a paid-up member of the 160km/h club.
The left-arm speedster unleashed the thunderbolt at Ross Taylor shortly before tea on day three of the second Test against New Zealand in Perth on Sunday.
He had brought the pitch to life was an astounding spell: in the previous over, he broke Brendon McCullum’s bat with an equally ferocious delivery, the third of three well over 152km/h.
The came the delivery which was flashed up on the big screen at 160.4km/h. Taylor managed to get bat to ball and defend it to the off side, and a roar reverberated around the ground.
The delivery puts him in fifth place on the unofficial list of fastest bowlers ever recorded. He is the fourth Australian, but the first left-armer to achieve the milestone, first recorded by Shoaib Akhtar in the 2003 World Cup at Newlands against England. It was measured at 161.3
The top five are:
Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan) 2003, vs England (Newlands) 161.3
Shaun Tait (Australia) 2010 vs England (Lord’s) 161.1
Brett Lee (Australia) 2005 vs New Zealand (Napier) 161.1
Jeff Thomson (Australia) 1976 fast bowling study at the Waca 160.6
Mitchell Starc (Australia) 2015 v New Zealand (Perth) 160.4
According to TotalSportek, Dale Steyn has been registered at 155.7.
And to think the WACA Ground was criticised as being a dead pitch after Australia scored 559-9 dec. New Zealand responded with 510-6.