With historic win against Australia, the West Indies is back


But for keen cricket lovers, the real historical significance goes back to the first tied cricket Test, which was played between the Frank Worrell-led West Indies and Richie Benaud’s Australian team in December 1960, at the same Gabba oval.

Back in the 8-ball era, the fateful seventh ball of a late over was bowled. The last Australian batsman, Lindsay Kline, pushed the red Kookaburra to square leg and set off for a single.

But West Indies middle order batsman, Joe Solomon, scooped up the ball, and, with only a single stump showing from his position, managed to throw down the stumps from 12 metres out, and run out the other Australian batsman, Ian Meckiff, by just centimetres.

The stunning end to the game was not just the first tied Test in more than 80 years of Test cricket, it signalled the start of the West Indies’ golden era. This included legends like the world’s greatest all-rounder, Garfield Sobers, Viv Richards, Wes Hall, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and many more.

Up to a devastating final over in the 1960- Test, Australia looked set to win, but the sheer brilliance and audacity of Worrell’s team changed all that.

It was a similar pattern on Sunday, once again at the Gabba. Australia seemed to be in line for victory at 2-113 at the start of play on the fourth day of the second Test.

Joseph, who had played well in the series, was in doubt, having injured his big toe the previous day when batting, and was forced to retire hurt on Saturday, closing their innings, and leaving Australia 216 to win.

Further, Cameron Green and Steve Smith appeared to be squiring Australia to another easy victory.

At that point Joseph struck, bowling Green and Travis Head with consecutive balls. The rest of the middle order, and, indeed, the late order – save a swashbuckling 21 by Mitchell Starc – followed in a spectacular Australian batting collapse.

It was only former captain Steve Smith who held the fort, ending the day not out on 91, including one spectacular flip for six. But Australia still fell short with a total of 208.

The figures, Joseph’s extraordinary performance, and even the jubilation of the West Indies players, did not capture the dimensions of the West Indies historic win.

It was, as Australian former leg spinner Kerry O’Keeffe commented, a game of “character, bravery, and one big sore toe.” And it brought on a broad smile from the West Indies cricket legends of yore.



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