Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Allan Donald, Nantie Hayward, and of course, Shane Bond.
What do they have in common? All were firebrand fast bowlers capable of firing down the leather ball at speeds above 150kmh.
Now we can add Black Caps paceman Adam Milne to that list.
Kept on ice until last night, Milne confirmed his raw potential in the Twenty20 against the West Indies at Eden Park, sending the speed radar soaring to a whopping 153.3kmh with one delivery.
Milne took his second T20 wicket in his fifth match, beating opener Lendl Simmons with pure pace. The 21-year-old Central Districts quick has long been touted as a strike weapon, but before last night had been sighted only once this summer, bowling two overs at the death in Queenstown.
Black Caps bowling coach Bond has endorsed Milne as one to watch and now we see why. Finally handed the new ball, not only did Milne regularly hurry the opposition, he was also controlled and accurate. He set the tone from the outset of the West Indies' daunting run chase, taking 1-11 from his opening three-over spell.
The Black Caps won the match comfortably.
In his 50th T20 match, off-spinner Nathan McCullum had 3-16 from three overs.
After stalling early on, wicketkeepers Brendon McCullum and the under-pressure Luke Ronchi were left to rescue the Black Caps. They did just that, carrying their team through to a respectable 189-5, their second-highest T20 total against the West Indies. Without the duo's well-paced 85-run partnership from 43 balls, the hosts could have been in serious trouble.
McCullum never looked comfortable at the crease but he showed rare patience and composure to hang tough despite not finding the middle of the bat often. The captain notched an at-times frustrating half-century in Tino Best's final over with back-to-back sixes - one a trademark scoop shot over his head - and finished 60 not out from 45 balls. Not a bad day given his obvious struggles.
Best took exception to McCullum's final flourish, mouthing off in animated style at the Kiwi skipper who simply ignored him.
After failing to perform in the recent ODI arena, Ronchi needed to mount a case and his best T20 score of 48 not out from 25 balls should temporarily silence the critics.
The Wellington gloveman came in after the West Indies' three-pronged spin attack of Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree and Nikita Miller (2-26) had put the brakes on New Zealand's efforts. A dead-flat drop-in wicket made life difficult for the batsman, but Ronchi hit seven boundaries, including four sixes, to take much-needed heat off McCullum at the other end. The pair also scampered between the wickets when they couldn't hit the fence.
Openers Martin Guptill and Jesse Ryder and all-rounder Colin Munro got starts while trying to add some impetus but a typically exuberant Best, who wears his heart on his sleeve, recovered from taking an early pasting to finish with 3-40 and help stall progress at regular intervals.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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