New Zealand v Sri Lanka Tests

Is it a bird or a 160km/h delivery?

Neil Wagner was clocked at a scarcely believable 160km/h - but he may have had some avian assistance

AFP

11 December 2015, 09:21 PM

A low-flying seagull was blamed for interfering with the speed gun on Friday when New Zealand's Neil Wagner bowled a ball clocked at 160km/h per hour - one of the quickest on record.

The surprise missile from Wagner, whose normal bowling speed is in the low 130s, lit up social media before the speed radar's operators said the reading might have been affected by a passing bird.

The left-arm seamer's ball came on a blustery day at Dunedin's University Oval when he was bowling to Sri Lanka's Dinesh Chandimal on day two of the first Test.

However, members of the television production team operating the radar said a bird had probably caused an inaccurate reading from one of two monitors at the ground.

How fast?! // Sky Sports

The alternative reading was 133km/h, more in keeping with Wagner's usual pace.

If Wagner did send down a ball at 160km/h, he would have been just a shade off Mitchell Starc's Test world record of 160.4, set last month in Perth.

Watch: Starc's thunderbolt at the WACA 

The fastest recorded delivery is 161.3 by Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar, nicknamed the Rawalpindi Express, against England in a 2003 World Cup match.

"If Neil Wagner is hitting 160km, then the drinks cart is doing 150km and West Indian cricket is nosediving at warp," quipped Twitter user @eld2_0.