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Watch: The West Indies pace masterclass that completed Test cricket’s lowest defence in a century

Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: West Indies needed to defend 99 to win the Port of Spain Test match of 1999/00. They bowled out Zimbabwe for 63.

There was some truth in Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton’s statement “we led for four days and about one session, and in the last two hours, got bowled out brilliantly.”

Heath Streak (4-45) had bowled out the West Indies for 187 before Andy Flower (113 not out) helped Zimbabwe secure a 49-run lead. Streak (5-27) then shot out the hosts again, this time for 147.


Zimbabwe needed to score 99. Since 1882, no team had successfully defended a target this low in men’s Test cricket. They were set to win.

Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh were approaching the last leg of their illustrious careers, but they were still among the most terrifying fast bowlers in the world. Ambrose had taken 4-42 in the first innings and Walsh 2-49. Walsh had, in fact, Walsh had started the Test series on 426 wickets, eight behind Kapil Dev’s world record. They were supported by the youngsters, Franklyn Rose and Rion King.

Walsh struck first, and King and Rose followed, but by lunch, Zimbabwe had pushed their score to 40-3 with the Flower brothers at the crease and Alistair Campbell, Stuart Carlisle, and Streak to follow. It was still Zimbabwe’s game to lose.

Yet, they could not. There was no collapse per se: the West Indians simply strangled the Zimbabwe batters, bowling the right line and length with pace until the Zimbabweans caved in.

In his first Test match as captain, Jimmy Adams rotated the four men efficiently, never going on the defensive with his field placements.

Zimbabwe lasted 47 overs – but hit only one boundary, that too when Grant Flower edged Rose through the slips. Grant Flower batted 126 balls but could only manage 26, while none of his teammates reached double figures.

The full bowling figures, including the overs bowled, summed up the story: Ambrose 11-6-8-3, Walsh 14-8-18-2, King 9-2-11-1, Rose 13-4-19-4. There was simply no respite for the Zimbabweans.

‘Miracle Monday’, summed up the newspaper headlines.

Watch West Indies bowl out Zimbabwe for 63 here:


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