WC 2003 - Pak tearaway Akhtar records World Cup's fastest ball

Published: Monday, February 17, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Kimberley (South Africa): Pakistani tearaway Shoaib Akhtar recorded the fast delivery in World Cup history on Sunday, then said speed mattered little to him as long as he took wickets.Shoaib was timed at 98.5 miles an hour when he bowled to Namibian tailender Rudie van Vuuren during Sunday's 171-run romp in which he claimed four wickets."I am delighted to have bowled the fastest ball in the World Cup but I am here to take wickets and put my team on the right track to win the title," he said on Monday.The 27-year-old, dubbed the "Rawalpindi Express", holds the unofficial record of bowling the fastest delivery at 100.04 miles per hour during a One-day game against New Zealand in Lahore in May last year."For me the delivery I bowled in Lahore was the fastest. Its okay to hit the speedometer as long as I keep taking wickets," he said."The four wickets I took on Sunday were very satisfying even if it was only against Namibia."Soon after the game ended, the World Cup debutants from Namibia rushed to the Pakistani dressing room to seek Shoaib's autograph.Shoaib said he was hitting the right groove. "I needed match practice and each game is giving me the rhythm. The task ahead is to take wickets against England and India."I think we are going well and confident of winning our remaining matches," Shoaib warned.

Copyright AFP 2001

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