Who Does it Best?

The yorker: Marizanne Kapp

To unerring length, she adds the ability to change lines on the delivery, making for an unplayable package

Valkerie Baynes
Valkerie Baynes
Marizanne Kapp takes the final wicket, dismissing Lauren Bell with a yorker, Oval Invincibles vs Southern Brave, Women's Hundred, final, Lord's, August 21, 2021

Full and final: Marizanne Kapp yorks Lauren Bell and seals the Hundred for Oval Invincibles  •  Stu Forster/Getty Images

There's a reason good death bowling is so highly prized and that's because its stock ball, the yorker, is one of the hardest deliveries to nail. But get the line, length and speed - fast or slow - right and a batter is rendered helpless in terms of scoring options. Unless they can sit right back in their crease, it's nigh on impossible to get underneath the ball and get it away.
Marizanne Kapp's yorker can be lethal, especially given her ability to manipulate the line of the delivery. She is adept at producing the wide yorker but it was her leg-stump yorker at the death to clean up Southern Brave's Lauren Bell and seal victory for Oval Invincibles in last year's Women's Hundred final that placed an emphatic full stop on the competition's first season.
Her fourth wicket in Sydney Sixers' 17-run victory over Hobart Hurricanes in 2018 was the result of a wide yorker - a perfect example of death bowling done right, coming in the penultimate over as Sixers defended 158, delivered from wide on the crease and tailing in slightly into the base of Brooke Hepburn's off stump.
Kapp's gem to bowl Deandra Dottin in a spell of three wickets in five balls (on her way to 4 for 14) as South Africa thumped West Indies by ten wickets at the 2017 World Cup was as destructive as the yorker gets: extra pace into the blockhole as Dottin played round her toes and the stumps were rearranged.
Lydia Greenway, who made 225 appearances for England between 2003 and 2016 and now works as a coach and commentator, says: "Kappy's got a really good yorker. One of her features is that she uses the crease quite well, so she would often go wide-line yorkers as well, which makes it then even harder for batters to hit it over the off side because it's got that pace on it. You can't get under it and then you also can't really get across enough to work it onto the leg side. I think that's also why she's effective, she's able to change the line of the yorker that she bowls."
Kapp forms a formidable pair with South Africa and Invincibles team-mate Shabnim Ismail, who can put searing pace on her yorker, which makes her unplayable at times. For Greenway, Australia's Megan Schutt is "up there" too in terms of the world's best yorker bowlers. "I remember playing in a T20 World Cup and I was trying everything I could," she recalls. "I was sitting so far back in my crease, as far as I ever had done, and she just managed to get that length right and it was really challenging. She's got that skill of getting her lengths right."
Katherine Brunt, England's veteran seamer, is also among the best in the world at the yorker. In a 2016 instructional video for the ECB, Brunt reveals that while she's running in, she looks at the top of the stumps despite aiming at the base because it helps her stay tall and, in turn, bowl fuller. The grip - seam up or cross-seam - is down to personal choice. "It's definitely a mental thing as well as how you execute it," Brunt says.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo