On this day in 1993: Curtly Ambrose takes 7/1 to wreck Australia

Curtly Ambrose is one of the most hostile fast-bowlers world cricket has ever seen. The tall pacer from Antigua was not just difficult to face but at times almost unplayable. And on January 30, 1993, the Australian team faced exactly that. The effort which we are about to talk about is the famous 7-1 spell which took place at the WACA Ground in Perth.

West Indies and Australia arrived in Perth for the final Test against Australia during the Test series of the 1992-93 tour. After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Australians got off to a good start. However, with the score going past 80, Ambrose started making inroads. His first wicket was of Mark Waugh. The ball pitched, swung back and the extra bounce made the batsman edge it to the wicketkeeper. After this, Ambrose became almost unplayable.

His next victim was David Boon, who was caught on the crease and the extra bounce got to him. The very next ball, Allan Border got out for a golden duck. The ball moved away from him sharply and the only thing he could manage was an edge to the keeper. The pitch was helping Ambrose a lot as he used the extra bounce to his cause and more often than not, the Aussie batsmen were either late on the ball and beaten by pace or were beaten by the extra bounce. It should be noted that the WACA pitch was known as the fastest pitch in the world at the time.

It was quite clear that this day was for Ambrose and he kept chipping away with regular strikes. The pacer picked up another four wickets to wreck Australia’s first innings completely. His victims were Damien Martyn, Shane Warne, Ian Healy and Jo Angel. The most incredible thing about the seven wickets which the Antiguan took was, during this spell he gave away only one run. It took him just 32 balls to wrap up the Australian innings. The hosts were bowled out for just 119 on day one and the spell set up a series win for the West Indies side.

The visitors made 322 before Ian Bishop, Ambrose’s partner-in-crime took six wickets in the second innings to take his side to an innings win. West Indies won the series 2-1 and it turned out to be his last series Down Under. Ambrose ended up playing a total of 98 Tests and 405 wickets at an average of 21. The WACA has seen many good bowling spells before that and after that, but, until this day, that spell by Ambrose is still regarded as the best fast-bowling performance in Tests by many cricket experts.