Moments in time: The day Arthurton, Lara, Adams punished Devon Malcolm

By April 27, 2020
Keith Artherton plays a pull shot off the bowling of Devon Malcolm in the first Test between the West Indies and England at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. Keith Artherton plays a pull shot off the bowling of Devon Malcolm in the first Test between the West Indies and England at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

Keith Arthurton did not have a stellar career with the West Indies but there was one day in particular that his prodigious talent was on show and it was a beautiful moment to watch.

Arthurton had made his debut for the West Indies against England in 1988. By 1994, when he again faced England, this time in the Caribbean on a Sabina Park pitch, the region was not convinced about him.

Arthurton was clearly talented. A remarkable fielder, he also had flair similar to a certain Trinidadian, albeit more talented, who had just come into the side.

It was the first Test of England’s 1994 tour of the Caribbean and in those days, the place to be for an opening Test was Sabina Park.

The shiny wicket was notorious for staying hard for five days and giving fast bowlers a lot to work with, but England were game. They chose to bat.

On day one England were 209-7, with Matthew Maynard, not out on 24 and Andy Caddick on three. The West Indies had started wonderfully and would continue on day two with Kenny Benjamin ending up with 6-66. Curtly Ambrose (1-46 from 22 overs) and Courtney Walsh (1-41 from 23 overs) were miserly in helping the West Indies restrict England to 234. Skipper Mike Artherton, (55), and fellow opener Alec Stewart, (70), were the only real contributors to the England total.

Day two would mark the first time the West Indies would see Jamaican-born Devon Malcolm bowl against them.

The English pacer was not welcome at Sabina Park because the Jamaican crowd saw his appearance for the tourists as a betrayal of the highest order.

But Malcolm was quick. Probably the quickest in the world at the time and there was also some amount of fear in the crowd that his pace would hurt what should have been his hometown.

And the crowd at Sabina Park had all right to worry, as fired-up Malcolm got rid of Desmond Haynes for four, and skipper Richie Richardson for five to leave the West Indies in trouble at 23-3. Phil Simmons was the other man to get out off the bowling of Caddick for eight.

This brought two left-handers to the crease, Brian Lara, to rapturous applause, and Arthurton, who the crowd hoped would stay with the little prince.

The quickest delivery bowled in 1994 came from Malcolm and it was bowled at Lara.

Batting at the commentary box end, Lara lifted one leg like a dog marking his territory after Malcolm pitched the delivery just back of a length. The pull shot that saw the ball rocket into the mid-wicket boundary knocked the stuffing out of Malcolm and by the time Lara was bowled by Graeme Hick for 83,  to become the fourth wicket lost by the West Indies, the tide had shifted back to the batting side.

At the other end, Arthurton continued on, playing a particularly savage cover drive off Malcolm on his way to 113 not out at the end of day three.

More important than the 11 fours and two sixes he slammed on his way to 126 on the third morning, was the demolition of the fear that Malcolm had brought to the Caribbean.

Caribbean fans realized he was big and strong and fast, but that our bats were bigger.

Jimmy Adams, who joined Arthurton after the departure of Lara would go on to score an unbeaten 95, while Junior Murray, 34, and Winston Benjamin, 38, got rid of the final semblances of fear over the dangerous Devon Malcolm.

The West Indies would go on to score 407 all out against Malcolm’s 3-113 and to win the game by eight wickets.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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