Moments in Time: The Day Marshall collared India with, of all things, a bat

By May 04, 2020
Malcolm Marshall playing a pull shot. Malcolm Marshall playing a pull shot.

The late great Malcolm Marshall was a terrifying pace bowler and many have argued that he was the best there has ever been.

Smart, deceptively quick, and brutal, Marshall had all the attributes to make him a nightmare for any batsman, no matter how much class he possessed.

But on a day in 1983, in India no less, Marshall showed something new, well it was at least new to them.

Marshall had scored four centuries in his career outside of Test cricket, three for New Hampshire, and one when he was an under-19 cricketer, playing against Zimbabwe but his Test cricket average of 10, hadn’t shrouded him in glory. He would eventually push that average up to 18 by the time his career ended in 1991. But still, there was not much expected of him.

On a surprisingly slow wicket in Kanpur, the West Indies went to bat on the first day and soon got in trouble with Desmond Haynes, 6, Viv Richards, 24, Larry Gomes, 21, skipper Clive Lloyd, 23, and Gus Logie, 0, all back in the pavilion.

In step Phillip Jeffrey Dujon to join the unusually sedate Gordon Greenidge and the two set to rebuilding the innings, but at 255-5 on the first day and despite a recovery from 157-5, the game was still in the balance.

Greenidge would resume on the second day on his overnight 130 and go on to bat for just over nine hours on his way to scoring 194 from 368 deliveries.

The great West Indies opener would strike 23 fours and not a single six in his near-200-run innings, while Dujon, who was on 48 from the day before, was marginally more adventurous, batting for just about three hours before he was bowled by Roger Binny for 81.

Marshall walked to the wicket looking like he did not have a care in the world on the second day, probably sure in his mind that when he got the ball, the balance of the game would swing yet again.

But before that though, he might have well give his fellow pacers some more time to relax in the pavilion.

Marshall, batting with Greenidge, showed he wasn’t just good with ball in hand but hunkered down for the next three hours or so and faced 151 deliveries on his way to his highest ever Test score, 92. Forty-four of those 92 runs would come in boundaries.

He played no small part in helping Greenidge score as many as he did. When Greendidge went, Eldine Baptiste, 6, Michael Holding, 0, and  Winston Davis, 0, did not last long.

But Marshall wasn’t done yet either. He would return to make a mockery of Kapil Dev’s 4-99 with 4-19 that put the result decidedly in West Indies’ favour. The West Indies had made 454 all out on the back of Marshall, Dujon, and Greenidge’s innings but then the paceman helped route India for just 207.

The West Indies would not bat again, as for the second time in the game, Marshall grabbed four, this time going for all of 47.

Marshall’s bowling, as per usual, was tremendous, but this was the first time his batting was doing the talking as the West Indies removed Pakistan for 164 to win the game by an innings and 83 runs.

The West Indies would go on to win the 6-Test series 3-0 and Marshall had become a legend in India.

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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