New Zealand v Australia, 5th ODI, Napier March 5, 2005

Brett Lee unleashes his fastest delivery

Cricinfo staff



Brett Lee ran red hot as Australia completed the whitewash at Napier © Getty Images

Brett Lee unleashed his fastest-ever delivery by clocking 160.8kmh in the first over of New Zealand's innings at Napier. Lee bowled a consistently menacing spell early on and New Zealand, who were already staring at a big defeat, were groping against some thunderbolts.

Lee let rip two deliveries which were more than the 160kmh range in the very first over. The first one was a wide down the leg side but the next ball, to Craig Cumming, was full outside off-stump and the speed gun captured it at 160.8kmh.

Lee's fastest ball before today was clocked at 160kmh during the Port Elizabeth game in the 2003 World Cup. Shoaib Akhtar holds the record for the fastest officially-timed delivery. It was achieved when Shoaib managed to bowl one at 161kmh at Craig McMillan in Lahore in 2002.

Michael Kasprowicz joined in the demolition act and New Zealand didn't even threaten to come close. Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist had ended the game as a contest by the half-way stage and it was just a matter of time before the whitewash was completed.

New Zealand were completely battered ahead of the Test series, starting in Christchurch on Thursday, while Australia were spoilt for choice with regard to which of the three fast bowlers to pick. Lee's fury, Kasprowicz's canny variations, Glenn McGrath's metronomic accuracy and Jason Gillespie's lethal methods - a heady mix for an irrestable team.