Sir Curtly Elconn Lynwall Ambrose is a legend in himself, regarded as one of the best fast bowlers of all time. He was there when the West Indies team was at its invincible peak. He took 405 wickets for the 98 test matches he played for the West Indies. There are many spells, where one can remember Ambrose tearing through the opposition with his pace and bounce. But the six feet seven West Indian’s most devastating spell came on 30 January, 1993 against the mighty Australians.
The West Indies were playing down under facing Australians in a 5-match test series. With the series level at 1-1 and one game left, the Australians chose to bat after winning the toss on a bouncy WACA pitch at Perth. The openers looked to give their team a strong start, but a superb in-swinging ball delivery from Ian Bishop gave the Windies their first wicket. Bishop struck again soon to get Steve Waugh out for a paltry 13.
Australians were cruising at 85/2 with opening batsmen David Boon looking solid at the crease. What happened next, the world and specially the Australians can never forget. In just a span of 5.2 overs, Curtly Ambrose took 7 of the Australian wickets giving away just 1 run and getting Australia all out for 119.
The first batsmen to get out to Ambrose in this devastating spell was Mark Waugh. Following an amazingly fast delivery, the ball held its line around the fourth stump, taking a nick off the outside edge and went straight into the hands of wicket-keeper Junior Murray.
Next to go in line was David Boon. The ball took off from good length, on which Boon lost all control and edged a simple catch to the skipper Richie Richardson at gully. The anchor of the Australian innings was gone and now it was time for Windies to rattle the kangaroos.
Ambrose got Allan Border caught behind on the first delivery that the captain faced. Three other batsmen got out for duck to Ambrose namely Ian Healey, Merv Hughes and the fast bowler Jo Angel.
With Shane Warne being run out, the Australian innings folded on 119. The visitors then took to bat scoring 322 on the back of a solid 80 from Phil Simmons and a crucial 77 from Keith Arthurton. West Indies won the match by 25 runs and an innings bundling out Australia for 178 with Ian Bishop taking 6 wickets.
This was the time when the West Indies team was feared all around the world and they replicated this performance many a times but this spell from Sir Curtly Ambrose is simply unforgettable.
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