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‘Bloody fast’: Shane Watson, AB de Villiers recall facing ‘Nightmare’ Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar is regarded as one of the fastest bowler to have played the game.

Shane Watson, AB de Villiers, Shoaib Akhtar
Shane Watson, AB de Villiers, Shoaib Akhtar (Image Credit : Twitter)

Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar was a terrifying bowler to face for a batter during his heydays. Akhtar was nicknamed as ‘Rawalpindi Express’ because of his tearaway pace. His international and domestic numbers are impressive and right up their with the best. In 46 Tests, the pacer has 178 wickets to his name, averaging 25.69.

In 163 ODIs, the right-arm fast bowler took 247 wickets, averaging 24.97 while he took 19 wickets in 15 T20Is. Talking about his domestic numbers, the Rawalpindi-born played 133 First-Class games, 221 List A and 38 T20s in which he took 467, 338, and 44 wickets respectively. Meanwhile, on April 27, 2002, the 46-year-old became the first bowler to bowl a 100 mph delivery. Bowling to Craig McMillan in an ODI against New Zealand in Lahore, Akhtar breached the 100 mph milestone.

On the 20th anniversary of the event, uploaded a video of him bowling against Australia. In the video, former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson faced a rising bouncer from Akhtar. The ball went over the keeper for four byes.

Notably, the speedster took five wickets and the won the game for his side. Meanwhile, Watson reacted to the video and said that facing Akhtar was a nightmare.  “What a way to spend my 21st birthday!! 😳😳😳, Shoaib Akhtar was so good and so bloody fast!,” Watson tweeted

Akhtar went on to break this record as he bowled a 161.3 kph (100.23 mph) delivery. He did the same against England in Cape Town during the 2003 World Cup. The record is still unbroken, although Mitchell Starc from Australia came close by bowling a 160.9 kph delivery against Ross Taylor in late 2015.

The Pakistan pacer played the international till the 2011 World Cup where his side lost to India in the semifinal. After that game, he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Currently, he is working as an expert commentator. He also has a YouTube by his own name.

Meanwhile, former South Africa skipper AB de Villers also commented on Watson’s post and agreed that it was incredibly hard to face Shoaib Akhtar.


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