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

Ari is a believer in this ball; I am not, or was not until 1986. The top-spinner is a ball that looks and behaves like a chinaman, but goes straight on. In other words, it is a ball that does not spin. This joke was in the Sunday Observer Junior Section. What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick.

In short, a top-spinner is a chinaman or a googly gone wrong, or delivered inefficiently. Must this incompetence be given a name? Then Ari mentions the 1994 Lakspray Trophy between Bloomfield CC and NCC and I am forced to bow my head in deference.

Mathew’s last season with Bloomfield was the season where he truly blossomed. Discarded from the national side following an indifferent patch vs India and Pakistan, he spent that year perfecting his mastery.

In the Saracens game, it was evident from the press box above the sightscreen that Mathew was putting a superhuman amount of spin on each delivery. The seam glistened in the baking sun, the ball was a revolving red transparency, a fan turned on full. Mathew’s wrist flapped about like a severed limb, hurling gyrating grenade into humid air. And guess what? The ball did not turn. It hurried on, bounced awkwardly, but there was no spin.

Each batsman was greeted by a thunderous chinaman or an unnaturally sharp googly. Just to remind them that there was turn in the pitch and in the elongated fingers of the bowler. And then ball after ball that looked like it was going to spin, but didn’t. Nine batsmen were bowled, caught and stumped playing for spin that never came. Ari says I owe him a drink. I remind him that he no longer drinks.

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         Articles (c)W.G. Karunasena.