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Change of Pace
W.G. Karunasena
11.07.92
 

Mathew had the ability to bowl much faster than his tantalising 57 mph. He began cricket as an opening bowler for Thurstan College. This is not unusual. Spinners frequently begin life as pacemen. What was unusual was that he did so with his other arm.

Hints of the repressed speed merchant surfaced during the 1988 Asia Cup and the preceding West Indies A team tour, where Mathew was seen sending down medium-pace seamers amidst his normal slower deliveries. Both the faster and the slower deliveries ended up at the boundary.

It would not be until the 90s that Mathew found mastery over pace, developing well-disguised variations, such as the speedball that bamboozled NCC, the floater that perplexed the Zimbabweans, and the leaper that broke Desmond Greenidge’s teeth.

 

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