The West Indian pace attack in the late 20th century was a nightmare for batsmen all across the world.
To date, memories of facing the fierce West Indian fast bowlers put batsmen in discomfort. One such spell that lives on in the memories of cricket fans is when Curtly Ambrose ran through the English batting line-up in the fourth Test between the two nations during the series of 1990 at Bridgetown, Barbados.
Ambrose took eight wickets for 45 runs to completely derail England’s chase and help West Indies draw level in the four-match Test series.
The Antigua pacer dismissed Rob Bailey in a slightly fortuitous manner as the English batsman edged a delivery straying on his leg stumps to wicket-keeper Jeff Dujon. But there was no fortune in the way he bagged his next three wickets. Gladstone Small was trapped LBW with a delivery that jagged back in. Then, he dismissed Alec Stewart with an outswinger as the English wicket-keeper edged it to first slip before Jack Russell had his off-stump uprooted.
A young Nasser Hussain was then dismissed LBW after he failed to get down in time to block Ambrose’s yorker. The tall pacer then cleaned up the tail to set up a memorable win for West Indies against England.
Even 30 years after that fiery spell, it remains one of the best performances by a bowler in Test cricket.