Debutant throws spanner in Steve Smith’s opening gambit, repeats 85-yr-old feat | Cricket

Team bowled out for 188 on the first day of the Test match. The captain throws you the ball after the experienced new-ball pacers fail to strike. Marking his crease is a batter, who averages 58 after playing 107 Test matches and has just taken up a new challenge of opening the batting in this format because he just hates waiting in the dressing room. Yeah, easy you see.

Shamar Joseph bowls his first ball to Steve Smith

You stand on your mark, letting it all sink in and then gently trod towards the bowling crease, nothing suggesting anything extraordinary. But you are smooth, you know that. The ball comes out of hands like it never did before. It pitches around the fifth stump, shapes away ever-so-slightly. The batter, one of the modern-day greats, is opened up. He is guilty of getting too close to the ball. It takes the outside edge and rests comfortably in the hands of the third slip.

Amazon Sale season is here! Splurge and save now! Click here

And just like that, you threw a spanner into Steve Smith’s opening gambit. Dream debut and all that? No, surely Shamar Joseph would not have dreamt this. These things cannot be planned. If ever there was a “remember the name” moment in West Indies cricket.

A young cricketer with only five first-class matches beside his name, started his Test career by dismissing the great Steve Smith off his first ball. It was the first such instance by a West Indies cricketer in Test matches in 85 years. Before Shamar Joseph, Tyrell Johnson was the only West Indies bowler to pick up a wicket off the first ball of his Test career way back in 1939 against England.

Overall, Joseph became the 23rd bowler to start his Test career with a wicket off the first ball.

And just to prove Smith’s wicket was not a flash in the pan, Joseph dismissed Marnus Labuschagne, the second biggest fish in the Australian batting line-up. It was not as nasty as some of his predecessors bowled but it was a bouncer that caught Labuschagne off guard. The Australian No.3 was late on the hook shot and could not control it. It flew towards fine-leg where Gudakesh Motie took a sharp catch.

The Guyana pacer was one of three Test caps that West Indies handed over in this Test match and needless to say, he was the one with the best first impression. The other two debutants were Justin Greaves and Kavem Hodge. Joseph had first made an impression by picking up 12 wickets for the West Indies A against South Africa.

Joseph was easily the brightest spot in the West Indies camp in an otherwise gloomy outing. Before picking the two Australian wickets to fall, he made an invaluable contribution with the bat too, scoring an entertaining 36 off 41 balls with three fours and a six.

The West Indies think tank would be hoping the others take a cue from the 24-year-old and put together a better performance on Day 2. With Australia (59/2 at stumps) trailing only by 129 runs, they would need to punch above their weight to stay in the contest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *