2 years ago

Malcolm Marshall 7-53 - Headingley Heroics - 1984 (3rd Test, Leeds, Jul 12 - Jul 16 1984, West Indies tour of England)

Tauheed Ahmad Nawaz
Malcolm Marshall 7-53 - Headingley Heroics - 1984 (3rd Test, Leeds, Jul 12 - Jul 16 1984, West Indies tour of England).

Malcolm Marshall slithered to the crease on the angle, pitter-pat feet twinkling as if in dancing shoes. It was reminiscent of a sidewinder on the attack. Purists occasionally criticised his action as too open, but it had method: he maintained mastery of orthodox outswing and inswing from a neutral position without telegraphing his intent. He was lithe, with a wickedly fast arm that elevated him to express status. Only in inches was he lacking - but he even turned that to his advantage with a bouncer as malicious as they come, skidding on to the batsman. Later in his career, he developed a devastating legcutter which he used on dusty pitches. Allied to a massive cricket intelligence, stamina and courage, Marshall had all the toys and he knew how and when to play with them. His strike rate of 46.22 was phenomenal, his average of 20.95 equally so. He may well have been the finest fast bowler of them all.

He reserved his best figures for England. In 1984, he broke his left thumb while fielding early in the match, but first of all batted one-handed, hitting a boundary and allowing Larry Gomes to complete a century, and then, with his left hand encased in plaster, he shrugged off the pain to take 7 for 53. Four years later, on an Old Trafford wicket prepared specifically for spinners, he adjusted his sights, pitched the ball up, and swung and cut it to such devastating effect that he took 7 for 22. Let that be a lesson, he seemed to be saying, and indeed it was. The whole cricket world mourned his tragically early death, from cancer, at 41.

Browse more videos

Browse more videos