So far, there have been 16 instances of a West Indian bowler taking more than ten wickets in a match in Test cricket. In this post, we take a look back at the six best Test match returns by bowlers from the Caribbean.
14/149 by Michael Holding v England, The Oval, 1976
Having secured an unassailable 2-0 lead, the West Indies continued their dominance with a 231-run win in the fifth and final Test. While Vivian Richards (291) shone with the bat, Holding produced an outstanding performance on a docile pitch. ‘Whispering Death’ captured 8/92 – the first Test eight-for by a West Indian fast bowler – in the first innings and followed it with 6/57 in England’s chase of 435.
13/55 by Courtney Walsh v New Zealand, Wellington, 1994-95
New Zealand found themselves at the receiving end of a series-winning display from the visiting skipper. After his team had piled up 660/5, Walsh decimated the Kiwi batting en route to 7/37. Not content, he bagged 6/18 in the second dig to inflict a drubbing by an innings and 322 runs on the hosts. These remain the best match bowling figures by a Test captain, as also the best by any bowler in New Zealand.
13/121 by Shannon Gabriel v Sri Lanka, Gros Islet, 2018
Gabriel joined his pace-bowling predecessors Holding and Walsh in the select 13-wicket club for the West Indies with a lionhearted show in this drawn encounter. The talented Trinidadian snared 5/59 in the first innings to help limit Sri Lanka to 253, before collecting 8/62 – the third-best figures by a West Indian fast bowler – in the second innings to record the best match figures by a West Indian on home soil.
12/121 by Andy Roberts v India, Madras, 1974-75
Roberts became the first West Indian to scalp 12 wickets in a Test match, but his incisive efforts were not enough to prevent an Indian victory. The Antiguan paceman began with 7/64, even as Gundappa Viswananath’s fine 97* steered India from 76/6 to 190. The West Indies edged a first-innings lead of two runs, but despite Roberts’ 5/57, faced a tough target of 255. India ultimately prevailed by 100 runs.
11/84 by Curtly Ambrose v England, Port of Spain, 1993-94
Leading the five-match series 2-0, the West Indies ceded a first-innings lead of 76 in this third Test. Ambrose gave a precursor of what was to follow with figures of 5/60. Not for the first time, England bore the brunt of the Antiguan’s pace and bounce, as they were blown away for a paltry 46 in just 19.1 overs in their chase of 194. Bowling in tandem with Walsh, Ambrose grabbed 6/24 to seal a series win for the hosts.
11/89 by Malcolm Marshall v India, Port of Spain, 1988-89
Arguably the best West Indian bowler of all time, Marshall took 11 wickets in a Test for the second time, having first achieved the feat against New Zealand at his home ground of Bridgetown in 1984-85. Bowling second change in both innings, the great pace ace shook the Indian batting, first with 5/34 to give his team a lead of 164, and then with 6/55 to ensure a series-clinching 217-run win for the West Indies.