Jofra Archer had the Aussies in a state of shock in their World Cup semi-final on Thursday with a remarkable variation to the usual slower ball.
The England tearaway bamboozled Glenn Maxwell with an amazing ‘knuckle’ ball - holding the ball with his thumb and resting it on the knuckles of his forefinger and middle finger.
The result was the ball holding up in the pitch and rising on Maxwell, who popped a simple catch to short cover because he was so early on it.
Maxwell could only shake his head in disbelief as he walked off the field, as did Steve Smith at the non-striker’s end.
Next man in Pat Cummins was also gobsmacked when facing one of the ‘knuckle’ balls, stump microphones picking up the moment he said: “How the hell do you even play that?”
Fans were also in awe after TV replays showed how Archer bowls the brilliant variation.
That knuckle ball is a new ball for Jofra Archer. Until recently he had a leg cutter slower ball with a notably different release. If he uses the knuckle ball sparingly his pace will make it an exceptionally difficult to face; rather than his natural skid, it'll hold up. #CWC19— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) July 11, 2019
@bbctms Does Jofra’s knuckle-ball today go up there into the legendary status alongside Harmison’s slower ball against Michael Clarke...?— Grant Kennett (@KennettDoes) July 11, 2019
If you were to write an entire book on Jofra's knuckle ball to Maxwell, I'd read it and buy it for everyone as a Christmas present— Antony Dalziel Stewart (@AntyDL) July 11, 2019
Jofra Archer is so lethal. Can bowl yorkers, bouncers, knuckle balls and can bowl at 90 Mph with ease. Generational talent— Hamza (@DavidGillWho) July 11, 2019
ohooo it was a knuckle ball— Mehedi Hasan Shawon (@SportsBoyShawon) July 11, 2019
absolutely Phenomenal Jofra
England storm into final
Australia will relinquish the World Cup for just the second time in two decades after their title defence came to a crashing end with a semi-final loss to England.
The Aussies were thoroughly outplayed at Edgbaston, beaten by eight wickets and completely blown off the park as England booked a date with New Zealand in Sunday's decider.
All out for just 223 batting first at Edgbaston, Australia watched on as Jason Roy helped blast England to victory in just 32.1 overs.
England captain Eoin Morgan described it as one of the team's most complete performances in four years, while Australian counterpart Aaron Finch admitted it was his team's worst of the tournament.
"That was really disappointing how it ended, especially to put up probably one of our worst performances overall for the tournament," Finch said.
"We were totally outplayed to be honest all throughout the day."