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

A traditional chinaman, but bowled with open chest and a shrug of the shoulders, causing the ball to linger in the air. Ari and Jonny call it the slow-motion delivery. It was the easiest of Mathew’s variations to pick; the change in delivery stride was palpable.

It was as if Mathew sublimated not just the purchase on the ball but the weight of the ball itself. “It is energy extraction at its most primal,” says Ari, showing off yet again. “Mathew momentarily displaces kinetic energy and then guides it towards its trajectory.” Ari scribbles a formula on a napkin and shows it to Jonny. Jonny grabs the napkin, blows his nose on it and hands it back. “Here. Calculate the viscosity of that.” Ah, the good ole days.

What I do know is, the ball stayed in the air slightly longer than appeared physically possible. South African Daryll Kirsten was repeatedly bowled by it in 1993. It resulted in a handled ball and a hit-the-ball-twice dismissal in the same test vs Zimbabwe in 1994.

It was the delivery of a bowler at the zenith of his art. It could only be played if the batsman waited till the last possible micro-second. A feat only one man, Zimbabwean Anton Rose, could manage consistently.

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         Articles (c)W.G. Karunasena.