Matt Parkinson has been labelled by many as the best young leg-spinner in the world, and on Tuesday he produced a worldie that justified those claims. Parkinson bowled Imam with a peach that turned 12.1°, which according to CricViz is the biggest spinning ball to ever take a wicket in ODI history.
Three months ago, England’s Matt Parkinson, in a County game for Lancashire, bowled Northamptonshire’s Adam Rossington by replicating Shane Warne’s ‘ball of the century’, and ever since fans have been eager to see the 24-year-old wield his magic at the highest level.
A Covid mishap in the England camp finally gave the young leg-spinner the opportunity to unleash his evolved version - he made his debut in 2019 when he was still raw - and in the first two ODIs against Pakistan he impressed, picking 4 wickets across the two games. It was, however, only today in Birmingham that the 24-year-old proved precisely why he is being touted by many to become England’s Shane Warne.
Bowling his third over of the game, with Pakistan coasting at 113/1 on a flat Edgbaston wicket that had no help for the bowlers, Parkinson produced a contender for the ‘ball of the decade’. Bowling from over the wicket to the well set Imam-ul-Haq, who was batting on 56, the young leg-spinner tossed a full and wide ball in-and-around sixth stump, that enticed the batsman to drive the ball. The line and length of the ball lit up the eyes of Imam, who, confident of dispatching the ball to the boundary, went for an extravagant drive, playing away from his body.
What happened a second later, however, shocked not just the batsman, but everyone who were watching. Remarkably, the loopy full one from Parkinson spun so much that it comfortably beat the inside edge of Imam’s bat and crashed into middle stump. As soon as pitching, the ball turned into the left-hander sharply, so much so that it completely evaded off-stump and crashed straight into middle. The batsman, Imam, stood his ground in disbelief, and the astonishing piece of magic from Parkinson sent the crowd at Edgbaston wild.
CricViz later revealed that the ball from Parkinson was the ‘biggest spinning ball to ever take a wicket in ODI history’, turning a whopping 12.1°.