When Graeme Swann clean bowled Pakistan opener Imran Farhat in the second innings of the second test at Edgbaston, little did he realize that he had just bowled the ball of the century.
For that is what the English media have called the delivery that spun in viciously from outside the left-handed Farhat’s leg stump to uproot his off-stump, giving Swann his first of 6 wickets.
Swann got Farhat in his very first over, off the third ball, at a time England were keen to get a breakthrough after Pakistan had pushed the score to 53/1 from the overnight 19/1.
Swann finished with 6/65 in what has turned out to be his best haul in a test innings.
English newspapers have compared the ball to the one Shane Warne bowled to dismiss Gatting in an Ashes test in 1993, some going so far as to rate Swann’s delivery superior.
Swann was quoted in a paper as saying that the delivery was the best he hd ever bowled but he thought it was a bit of a fluke.
He said he tried to put very delivery in the right spot but didn’t expect any ball to pitch outside the leg-stump and hit the off stump after turning. He added that he was delighted.
While he thought it was the best ball he had ever bowled his coach, David Saker felt that it was the best ball ever bowled at Edgbaston.
Newspapers have gone overboard with the puns: “Swann in a million” and “new spin on the ball of the century”, among others.
Rodney Hogg, former Australian fast bowler and current test commentator has rated Swann as England’s sole “X’-factor” in the Ashes series, which will played from November 2010.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.