So far, there have been nine instances of a West Indian bowler taking at least eight wickets in an innings in Test cricket. In this post, we take a look back at the six best Test innings returns by bowlers from the Caribbean.
9/95 by Jack Noreiga v India, Port of Spain, 1970-71
This remains the only instance of a nine-wicket haul in a Test innings by a West Indian bowler. A Trinidadian off-spinner, Noreiga played four Tests, all in the same series. In the first innings of his second Test, he gave his home crowd something to cheer about with these figures, which went in vain as India won by seven wickets. His victims included Sunil Gavaskar and captain Ajit Wadekar in successive balls.
8/29 by Colin Croft v Pakistan, Port of Spain, 1976-77
Playing his second Test, Croft ripped through the Pakistani batting on the opening day. The Guyanese paceman dented the innings early to reduce the score to 21/3, before inducing a lower-order collapse from 150/5 to 180 all out, paving the way for a West Indian win by six wickets. This was the second instance of a West Indian fast bowler taking eight wickets in a Test innings. Croft snared 33 wickets in the series.
8/38 by Lance Gibbs v India, Bridgetown, 1961-62
Known for his parsimony, Gibbs unleashed his off-spin on the Indian batsmen to produce one of the memorable Test spells. Having conceded a first-innings lead of 217, India were 158/2 in the second dig when he removed Vijay Manjrekar. This led to Gibbs collecting eight wickets for just six runs in 15 overs, as India capitulated towards 187 all out. The Guyanese great’s final figures read a stunning 53.3-37-38-8.
Devendra Bishoo’s 8/49 against Pakistan at Dubai in 2016-17 are the best figures by a West Indian in an overseas Test innings (source – PTI)
8/45 by Curtly Ambrose v England, Bridgetown, 1989-90
Ambrose tended to reserve his best for England, as a glittering record of 164 Test wickets at 18.79 attests. Leading the five-match series 1-0, England were asked to chase 356 in this fourth Test late on the fourth day. Ambrose signalled his intentions early, dismissing Rob Bailey and Gladstone Small to make the score 10/3. The pace ace continued in the same vein on the final day, spurring the hosts to a 164-run win.
8/49 by Devendra Bishoo v Pakistan, Dubai, 2016-17
Pakistan won this day-night Test by 56 runs, but not before surviving a fine spell from Bishoo. Armed with a first-innings lead of 222, Pakistan were placed at 77/2 when the leg-spinner, who had earlier dismissed Asad Shafiq in his first over, got rid of Babar Azam to open the floodgates. Pakistan imploded to 123 all out in the face of Bishoo, who ended with the best figures by a West Indian in an away Test.
8/60 by Roston Chase v England, Bridgetown, 2018-19
In the first innings of this Test, England were bowled out for 77 thanks to the pace of Kemar Roach (5/17). However, in the second innings, it was the off-spin of all-rounder Chase that rattled them. Set an improbable target of 628, England were undone by Chase, who first accounted for a well-set Rory Burns to make the score 134/2 , and then took the last seven wickets. England duly went down by 381 runs.