The unsung heroes of the good 1980s West Indies crew

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Through the superb spring of 1982 Bangladesh Tv (BTV) launched a weekly present referred to as Cricket on TV in recognition of the rising recognition of the sport within the nation.

It confirmed highlights of various worldwide matches, and it was there I noticed the highlights of two Benson and Hedges Cup last matches between West Indies and Australia. The highlights lasted barely an hour every however made an enduring impression in my younger thoughts as I turned a giant fan of WI cricket.

In fact on the time Windies cricket was approaching a golden period. They have been nearly invincible all through the last decade, with Imran Khan’s Pakistan the one crew offering significant opposition to their supremacy.

The nice West Indies gamers of the time like Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and others have loved legendary standing among the many cricket followers worldwide. However cricket is a crew recreation; it wasn’t all the time concerning the huge stars. There have been some high quality help gamers who once in a while performed their half within the Windies success. This text is about a couple of of those much less well-known performers.

Larry Gomes
Most un-West Indies like in his batting model, Gomes’s batting was based mostly on pushes, nudges and flicks reasonably than the large drives or full-blooded reduce photographs. As a left-hander he belonged to the group of Allan Border and Graham Thorpe reasonably than within the firm of Brian Lara or David Gower. But his significance within the WI batting line up within the first half of the 1980s can’t be underestimated.

General he scored 9 Take a look at lots of, and 7 of these got here throughout the interval of January 1982 to December 1984 because the West Indies loved a exceptional unbeaten run in Take a look at matches. Gomes reached his decide in 1984 as he scored 4 lots of in England and in Australia. At Edgbaston, within the opening Take a look at of the 1984 collection, he scored a career-best 143, within the course of sharing a 206 run partnership with Viv Richards. But it surely was his lots of at Headingley and WACA later within the yr that impressed the pundits most. The primary confirmed his capacity to play the shifting ball, the second confirmed his capacity to deal with the brief pitched stuff.

At Headingley WI was struggling at 7-206 after England had scored 270 of their first innings. Too many WI top-order batsmen acquired in after which acquired out as Paul Allott, making his comeback to the England crew, acquired the ball to maneuver in each instructions. At one finish Gomes was batting superbly, however it appeared that he would run out of companion because the all-rounders Eldine Baptsite and Roger Harper each fell for geese. Considerably unexpectedly Micheal Holding emerged as a batting hero. Utilizing the lengthy deal with nicely, he smashed 5 sixes and three fours. His 59 and Gomes 104* ensured a 32-run lead for the Caribbean crew earlier than Malcolm Marshall destroyed the England batting to make sure the collection victory for the vacationers.

On the WACA, within the first Take a look at of the collection, Kim Hughes, the under-pressure Aussie captain, put West Indies on the opening day, and midway by way of the day it was all smile for him as Terry Alderman, the native boy, ran by way of the WI high order to limit them to 5-104. However then Gomes (127) and wicketkeeper-batsman Jeff Dujon (139) wrested again the initiative. Each batted of their standard vogue. Daring and chic Dujon took simply 158 deliveries for his runs, and on the different finish Gomes took his time, taking no dangers understanding full nicely the worth of his wicket. On the of his 297-ball innings the Windies have been in full management and quick bowlers (as standard) did the remaining. Most pundits think about this to be the best innings of Gomes’s profession.

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Gomes added one other hundred at Adelaide, however it went downhill for him after that. He struggled for runs over the following two years and after a really disappointing 1986-87 season he retired from worldwide cricket.

He additionally performed 83 ODIs for the West Indies. His strike charge of 54.88 is poor even in these day’s requirements. However his little off breaks (he bowled proper arm) made him a helpful one-day all-rounder.

Gus Logie
The enticing right-hand batsman from Trinidad made his ODI debut towards Pakistan at WACA in December 1981 however didn’t have a bat – in truth he performed 4 matches within the occasion with out getting an innings. Then in his fifth ODI, towards India in 1983 in entrance of his residence crowd, he got here out to bat at No. Four, however rain intervened as he reached 6* from 12 deliveries, ending the WI innings in the midst of the 39th over.

Maybe these unlucky occasions had set the tone for the rest of his worldwide profession, as a result of whereas it lasted for greater than a decade, he all the time remained a fringe cricketer, unable to actually come into the limelight.

He did rating two Take a look at lots of, however he was denied tons on quite a few different events. At Port of Spain 1984 – what’s now largely remembered as Allan Border’s Take a look at match – he got here to the wicket with the match within the stability and scored 97. His partnership with Dujon (130) gave WI management of the match earlier than Border denied them victory.

Lord’s 1988 was the setting of his most memorable efficiency. The West Indies captain received the toss and determined to bat, however with Graham Dilley getting his out-swingers to work completely, they slumped to 5-54. At this stage Logie (81) and Dujon (53) rescued the Windies. Logie appeared set for 100 within the second innings following one other century stand together with his buddy Dujon, however he was left unbeaten on 95* because the WI tail collapsed on the fourth morning. He was adjudged the person of the match. Later within the yr he scored 93 at WACA.

A gaggle of younger middle-order batsmen emerged from the Windies across the flip of the last decade, forcing Logie into gradual oblivion. His final Take a look at match got here throughout the 1991 tour to England, though he performed ODIs till 1993. In his final 5 ODI innings, all towards Pakistan, he failed to succeed in the double figures as soon as.

Gus Logie, West Indies

West Indies batsman Gus Logie. (Tony Marshall/EMPICS through Getty Photos)

Eldine Baptise
An all-rounder, Baptiste performed ten Take a look at matches between 1983 and 1990 however didn’t impress with each bat and ball. But remarkably the Windies received all these ten matches. In 1984 he performed in all 5 Exams in England throughout the well-known whitewash.

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In fact his spectacular first-class file, particularly as a right-arm medium pacer, would counsel that he had the abilities to be simply greater than the ’fortunate attraction’. Sadly he had little probability to indicate his bowling abilities taking part in alongside a bunch of fearsome quick bowlers. More often than not he was taking part in the position of a help bowler he was concentrating on holding issues quiet reasonably than getting the batsmen out.

As a batsman he was flamboyant in true Caribbean model, and at Edgebaston in 1984 he smashed 87* towards a hapless England assault earlier than operating out of companions. Later within the collection he scored very important runs in tough situations at Lord’s and on the Oval.

He additionally performed 43 ODI matches, however right here additionally he was largely a fringe participant.

Roger Harper
Harper was an underachiever within the eyes of many. A succesful off break bowler, a hard-hitting batsman and the perfect all-round fielder of his time, he was at one stage thought-about by some to be a future Windies captain, however sadly he ended up taking part in simply 25 Exams. Nonetheless, the mere truth right-arm off break bowler might break into WI crew of the 1980s was itself an achievement.

He had an attention-grabbing first Take a look at towards India on the Eden Gardens in December 1983. He was picked alongside 4 quick bowlers and on the opening day, as Indian batsmen struggled towards the quickies, he bowled simply eight overs and remained wicketless. Some Indian journalist felt that he was under-bowled. When this query was put to WI captain Lloyd on the finish of the day’s play he replied that Harper would play a much bigger position within the second innings. As issues occurred, India’s second innings lasted simply 30 overs as Marshall and Holding shared 9 wickets amongst themselves. Harper didn’t have a bowl.

Harper actually was under-bowled throughout his profession. In his 25 Exams he bowled simply over 600 overs – that’s 24 overs per Take a look at match. It’s particularly low for an off spinner as they usually wish to work their method in direction of dismissing a batsman. However, every time the alternatives got here, he tried his finest to utilise them, and fairly remarkably his Take a look at bowling common of 28.06 is best than that of Lance Gibbs (29.09)

Twice he stunned the Aussie batsmen. First it was at Georgetown within the first Take a look at of the 1984 collection. There he ran by way of the Aussie center order to complete with Four-56. Later within the yr he took Four-43 at Adelaide Oval within the last innings to make sure a thumping victory for his aspect. However his finest bowling, 6-57, got here on the Outdated Trafford. With the wicket providing him some flip, he appeared unplayable to the English batsmen. Solely skipper Gower with 57* supplied any resistance.

Roger Harper, West Indies

Roger Harper, West Indies (Tony Marshall/EMPICS through Getty Photos)

Patrick Patterson
Through the center of the 1980s, as Jamaica’s nationwide hero Micheal Holding was coming in direction of the tip of his illustrious profession, two younger quick bowlers emerged from the island: Courtney Walsh and Pat Patterson. Whereas they each got here from Jamaica, the distinction between them was nice. Within the eyes of a lot of the pundits Walsh was the extra completed product and in time he turned a deadly quick bowler thriving even on flat batting pleasant tracks.

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Patterson was all about tempo. He was one-dimensional and lacked the number of the good WI bowlers of his time. However on wickets providing him assist he might turn out to be frighteningly unplayable.

His debut towards England in 1986 was a memorable one. With the Sabina Park wicket producing tempo and uneven bounce, the WI selectors rightly went for him forward of Walsh. He wasn‘t given the brand new ball however nonetheless terrorised the England batsmen to complete with Four-30 and Three-44.

At Delhi within the autumn of 1987 it was the flip of the Indian batsmen to face his tempo. In one other underprepared wicket he took 5-24 to bowl the hosts out for simply 75 on the opening day. Much more spectacular was his 5-68 on the ultimate day of the second Take a look at at Mumbai. With the rain-affected Take a look at apparently heading for a boring draw, he determined to attempt to bowl around the wicket, concentrating on the physique of the right-handers. The Indian center order collapsed towards his hostility and was bowled out for under 173, however there wasn’t sufficient time for the Windies to chase the small fourth-innings goal.

The Aussie batsmen noticed the perfect (or the worst) of Patterson at MCG in December 1988 as he took 9 wickets to arrange a victory. He additionally bowled nicely within the 1991 residence collection towards the Aussies. However accidents mixed with disciplinary issues shortened his profession to only 28 Exams. He took simply 93 wickets, however his strike charge of 51.9 deliveries per wicket is most spectacular.

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Different cricketers
Phil Simmons, an attack-minded opening batsman was an instantaneous success within the one-day recreation, scoring half-centuries in every of his first two ODIs throughout the 1987 WC. Take a look at cricket, nonetheless, proved a unique ball recreation for him, and given the unenviable process of changing injured Gordon Greenidge within the Chennai Take a look at later within the season he managed solely eight and 14. A extreme head damage sustained throughout the tour match at Bristol in the summertime of 1988 halted his worldwide profession, though he returned a couple of years later to emerge as a dependable ODI all-rounder.

Winston Davies made his Take a look at debut within the fifth Take a look at towards India in 1983 within the absence of Joel Garner. Most of his alternatives in his brief profession got here when the extra well-known quickies have been lacking. At Lord’s within the 1983 World Cup he destroyed the Aussie batting, taking on the time world file figures of 7-51. A yr later he was referred to as from his Glamorgan duties to exchange injured Marshall for the Outdated Trafford take a look at, by which he scored 77 as an evening watchman – he was a helpful lower-order batsman – and took two wickets.

And he did a very good job within the tour to India in 1987-88, sharing the quick bowling duties with the younger Jamaicans Patterson and Walsh. His capacity to swing the ball in to the right-handers regardless of bowling near the stumps stunned many Indian batsmen. However he was neglected for the 1988 England tour when younger Ian Bishop was included within the robust six males tempo assault.

And, lastly, an honourable point out ought to be product of Clyde Butts, who postponed his wedding ceremony for a brief interval to make his WI debut towards New Zealand at Georgetown in 1985. The ceremony finally came about throughout the remaining day of the Take a look at match.


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