Pradeep Mathew's amazing deliveries
  Webpage dedicated to the varied talents of Pradeep Mathew: Sri Lanka's greatest unsung cricketer.
  The Boru Ball  

Ari and I are in disagreement over the legitimacy of this ball. And as we lack footage of the ’87 Asgiriya test, a match that history does not recognise, we have no way to settle this score. This is for the aficionados. The ball pitches on off and cuts in. Like Mathew’s bread-and-butter delivery, the chinaman. So, you ask, why don’t we call it a chinaman and save some ink? It’s because it is delivered with an orthodox action. The boru ball only works within a set context.

If you’re bowling a spell of orthodox finger spin, like Mathew did against New Zealand in ’87, a boru ball will serve the function of a googly or a doosra. The term doosra meaning ‘second one’ is currently in vogue thanks to a Pakistani spinner claiming to have invented the off-spinner’s googly. I wrote to Wisden claiming that Mathew’s boru ball and Ramdhin’s googly preceded the Pakistani’s claim, but this is yet to be published.

If you slip a boru ball in during a spell of chinaman, as Mathew would do infrequently, the change of wrist action will alert the batsman to a variation, when in fact the ball will do exactly what it did before. I would describe this ball as a clever double bluff. Ari would describe this whole chapter as a complete and utter bluff.

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         Articles (c)W.G. Karunasena.