The arrival of the T20 format in cricket has cut down the margin of error, especially for bowlers, irrespective of the conditions. The batting dominated set-up has also impacted the classic One-Day International (ODI) format, where bowlers had some sort of space left to dominate the proceedings.
And due to the change in tactics in batting over the past few years, fans have also seen the modern modifications implemented by bowlers to leave their influence visible. One of the major strategies levied by bowlers worldwide is to bowl slower deliveries, which help them deceive the batsmen and stop the run-flow as well, especially in the death overs.
In fact, bowlers have further added some more variations to their slower balls, like off-cutters, leg-cutters, back of the hand deliveries, and knuckle balls. However, on Saturday, during the third ODI match between Australia Women and New Zealand Women, White Ferns’ off-spinner Leigh Kasperek took everyone by surprise with an extremely slower delivery that clocked at 38 kmph.
It all happened in the eighth over of Aussie innings when Beth Mooney was at the strike. Kasperek came round the wicket and bowled the slowest ball of the match. The delivery had no pace at all, and Mooney had to reach out for it as she eventually hit it towards long-off to run a single.
Here is the video:
Leigh Kasperek shone against the Aussies on Wednesday and with tactics like this, we see why.
A 38kmph slower ball 😳
— Spark Sport (@sparknzsport) April 10, 2021
Meg Lanning heaps praise on Kasperek
In the match, which was a rain-affected affair reduced to 25 overs a side, Australia registered victory by 21 runs and continued their unbelievable winning streak, which now stands at 24 wins. Put to bat first at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, the visitors posted 149/7, with Alyssa Healy scoring the maximum 46 runs.
In reply, the home team could only manage to reach 128/9 in 25 overs, falling short of 21 runs. All-rounder Lea Tahuhu (21) and skipper Amy Satterthwaite (20) were the highest scorers for the White Ferns.
Post the game, Aussie captain Meg Lanning lauded Kasperek for her brilliant bowling. She said that other countries would follow the Scottish spinner’s blueprint to stop the run flow and deceive the batters.
“It’s something we need to get better at. We’ve spoken about it a lot as a group, and we need to execute better, but credit to Kasperek, she bowled extremely well, and she bowled to the conditions extremely well,” said Lanning.
“She was bowling into a really strong breeze, so it was dropping a lot, as well as the really slow pace. Often when you see the ball tossed up a lot, your first instinct is to come at it, and perhaps we need to rethink how we want to play her because she’s had a couple of really good games against us, and she’s bowled extremely well,” she added.