On this day in 2004: Steve Harmison takes seven for 12 against West Indies

By Sports Desk March 14, 2024

Steve Harmison took seven wickets for 12 runs as England bowled West Indies out for 47 on March 14, 2004.

A damaging spell saw Harmison almost single-handedly knock over West Indies at Sabina Park on their way to a 10-wicket victory in the first Test.

It took just 11.3 overs for the then 25-year-old to pick up his seven wickets, conceding only 12 runs in the process and setting up an emphatic victory for England, who were on their way to a first Test series win in the Caribbean since 1968.

Before the series, 6ft 4in right-armer Harmison had shown lots of potential with his combination of pace and swing but struggled for consistency, while a back injury during the winter had also affected him.

The first innings of the match offered no sign of what was to come as the West Indies racked up 311, but everything changed on the fourth day.

England captain Michael Vaughan lined up eight fielders in the slips and Harmison did the rest as a young West Indies side wilted under a fearsome assault.

“To be honest, I’m absolutely speechless,” said Harmison afterwards.

“If you bowl the ball consistently in a good area, you often get a bit of luck. It’s just one of those days and I’m pleased for myself, but I’m not going to get too carried away by it.”

Harmison’s form continued into the rest of the series, with the Durham man achieving figures of six for 61 in the second Test.

It was the beginning of the best spell of Harmison’s career. A year later he played a key role in England’s famous Ashes triumph over Australia, but injuries limited his impact thereafter and his international career ended in 2009.

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