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Watch: ‘Fast, hostile, accurate’ – Demolished by Curtly Ambrose, England skittle to 46 all out in 1994 Test

Ambrose ran through England in a devastating spell of 6-24
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

In the third Test of their 1994 tour of the Caribbean, England dramatically folded for 46 – their lowest Test total in 107 years.

West Indies had already taken a 2-0 lead (the two Tests were separated by a 3-2 ODI series win for the hosts) – the first by eight wickets, and the second by an innings and 44 runs. In Port of Spain, England found themselves in a better position, securing a 76-run lead in the first innings.

A fifty from 19-year-old Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who had debuted earlier in the series, helped West Indies post 269 in their second innings, leaving England with 193 to chase. With enough time remaining, it looked assailable. In the press box, Peter Roebuck said: “This ought to be England’s game.” Few would have disagreed.


But it wasn’t to be. Only opener Alec Stewart managed double-digits, no one else could push past six, and three players succumbed for ducks. As for the West Indies, they only needed the new-ball pairing of Curtly Ambrose (10-1-24-6) and Courtney Walsh (9.1-1-16-3) to do the entire damage.

A rain stoppage meant that only 15 overs would be bowled on the fourth day. Ambrose made full use of the short window to scythe through England with a devastating spell. He started with a first-ball wicket of skipper Mike Atherton, and proceeded to claim five more. Robin Smith, Graham Thorpe and Stewart had their stumps demolished, while the rest gingerly edged behind.

England slipped to 5-3, before limping their way to 40-8 at stumps. Mark Ramprakash’s comical run out perfectly symbolised a chaotic day. “Fast, hostile, accurate” – this summary of Ambrose’s spell from one of the commentators seemed perfectly apt.

There was little to do on the final morning apart from escaping the ignominy of their lowest Test total ever. England did so by one run. Interestingly, England had won that game in 1887. At Port of Spain, they were trounced by 147 runs, eventually losing the series 3-1.

Watch Ambrose run through England here:


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