Sixteen speedsters have bowled deliveries measuring between 150.7 kmph and 156.22 kmph 100 times in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since its inception in 2008, with Delhi Capitals’ (DC) Anrich Nortje bowling the fastest ball in the tournament history on Wednesday against Rajasthan Royals (RR).
The official IPL website, www.iplt20.com, displays only the top 100 instances when speed merchants have exceeded 150.7 kmph. South African Nortje exceeded 150 kmph mark four times in an over on Wednesday, with his fastest ball being clocked 156.2 kmph.
Apart from Nortje, the other 15 bowlers who qualify for this list are: Dale Steyn, Kasigo Rabada, Pat Cummins, Shaun Tait, Jofra Archer, Navdeep Saini, Lasith Malinga, Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Billy Stanlake, Ishant Sharma, Morne Morkel, Mitchell Johnson, Parvinder Awana, and Veer Pratap Singh.
Nortje set the speed guns spinning during his fiery opening spell against RR at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday. Such was the pace he generated in his first two overs of the day that he relegated Steyn’s eight-year old record for fastest ball (154.40 kmph) to number four on the list, taking the top three spots for himself in three consecutive deliveries.
Nortje sent in the fifth ball of his first over at 156.22 kmph, thus surpassing the 154.40 kmph delivery that Steyn had bowled for Deccan Chargers in 2012 and thus becoming the fastest in the history of the tournament. While that was incredibly ramped fine for four by RR’s Jos Buttler, the England batsman found himself castled on the next ball timed 155.1 kmph, the second fastest ball of all time in the IPL.
The South African then sent the first ball of his next over at 154.74 kmph which became the third fastest of all time in the IPL. This is Nortje’s first season in the IPL and he has clocked 150 kmph or more 12 times already.
Nortje’s DC and South Africa teammate Rabada also crossed 150 kmph in the same match once and that was the first time he did so this season. However, it was only an addition to the two times he had done so for DC in 2017 and to the 24 times he had surpassed 150 kmph in 2019.
Jofra Archer has been the leading RR’s impressive bowling performances that have not quite been matched up by their batsmen this season. Archer has surpassed 150 kmph 15 times this season alone, three more than what Nortje has managed thus far.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) Pat Cummins crossed 150 kmph once this season and is yet to touch or cross the 153.56 kmph he clocked for Delhi Daredevils in 2017.
Australia’s Tait was dubbed “The Wild Thing” at his peak for the searing pace he used to bowl at before injuries hampered his progress. He figures eight times in the list of 100 fastest balls in IPL history on the tournament’s official website, with the fastest being 153.43 kmph for RR.
Veteran Mumbai Indians fast bowler Malinga is known for his relentless accuracy while bowling yorkers. He has, however, crossed 150 kmph only twice for the four-time champions, according to www.iplt20.com
Saini and Yadav are the only two Indians to feature in the top 10 fastest bowlers in the tournament. Saini is yet to do so this season for Royal Challengers Bangalore but did so 14 times last season. Yadav has done it four times — twice for RCB and thrice for Delhi Daredevils.
New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson is yet to feature for KKR this season. He has surpassed 150 kmph thrice for KKR and once for the erstwhile Rising Pune Supergiant.