Australia v New Zealand Tests
Starc bowls 160kph delivery, breaks bat
Australian quick Mitchell Starc fires up on day three after New Zealand batsmen piled on the runs
Adam Burnett at the WACA
15 November 2015, 08:20 PM AEST
The fastest spell of Mitchell Starc's career and one of the quickest of all time has brought the second Test to life in the middle session of day three at the WACA.
Recap & highlights: Day 3 at the WACA
On a lifeless pitch and in a contest dominated by the bat, Starc cracked the fabled 160kph mark with the fourth ball of his 21st over – and the fifth of that spell – sending one down to Ross Taylor, who was 137 at the time, at 160.4kph.
OMG @mstarc56 1️⃣6️⃣0️⃣.4️⃣ serious pace 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻— Brett Lee (@BrettLee_58) November 15, 2015
Records on bowling speeds are notoriously unreliable however this could well be the fastest delivery recorded in Test cricket, only a shade behind the fastest delivery ever recorded – 161.3kph bowled by Pakistani Shoaib Akhtar against England in 2003.
Australia pair Brett Lee and Shaun Tait have both been clocked at 161.1kph, while legendary tearaway Jeff Thomson was recorded at 160.6kph at the WACA in 1975.
Starc's previous over had seen Brendon McCullum – who had just arrived at the crease following the dismissal of Kane Williamson for 166 – lashing wildly outside his off stump at balls approaching 155kph.
Mitchell Starc bowled an over of incredibly fast deliveries that had batsmen and fielders jumping, and broke New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum's bat
His first edge flew over second slip for four before Nathan Lyon spilled a hot chance at third slip from the very next delivery.
Starc's final offering of the over came down at 154.8kph, and McCullum did well to jam down at the outswinging yorker, only to see a chunk of wood fly from his bat, much to the delight of what had quickly become an enthralled WACA crowd.
— Wide World of Sports (@WWOS9) November 15, 2015
And one ball after his 160kph rocket, Starc saw his second chance in as many overs go down as Taylor slashed at another delivery and a diving Mitchell Marsh couldn't hold hang onto what would have been a superb grab in the gully.
Ultimately, his lightning spell went unrewarded, Taylor and McCullum ensuring New Zealand avoided the follow-on as they continued to bat aggressively toward the close of the second session.