Cricket: West Indies beat Australia by eight runs in Brisbane Test

Injured pacer Shamar Joseph took seven wickets as West Indies pulled off a remarkable eight-run win in the second Test.

West Indies' Shamar Joseph raises the ball after taking 7 wickets in his team's defeat of Australia on the 4th day of their cricket test match in Brisbane, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. (Jono Searle/AAP Image via AP)
Shamar Joseph raises the ball after taking seven wickets in his team's win over Australia [Jono Searle/AAP Image via AP]

West Indies fast bowler Shamar Joseph bowled through pain to rip through a shell-shocked Australia and help deliver an extraordinary eight-run upset for his inexperienced side on day four of the second Test in Brisbane.

Forced to retire hurt from a toe-crushing Mitchell Starc yorker the previous evening, Joseph bounced back to claim six wickets in a session and 7-68 overall to lift West Indies to their first test win Down Under since 1997, as Australia were bowled out for 207 in pursuit of 216 on Sunday.

Australia’s new opener Steve Smith (91 not out) farmed the strike to protect Josh Hazlewood (0), but it was to no avail as Joseph sent the tailender’s off-stump flying to register the win which sent the tourists running in celebration at the Gabba.

Before the West Indies were dismissed for 193 in their second dig, Australia skipper Pat Cummins had courageously declared at 289-9 with his side still behind the visitors’ first innings total of 311.

Australia prevailed by 10 wickets in the first Test in Adelaide, as the series ends 1-1.

Joseph, who had been sent to hospital for scans, recovered sufficiently by day four to bowl over Cameron Green (42) and Travis Head, who made a king pair, in consecutive deliveries to keep alive West Indies’ hopes.

Mitchell Marsh (10) fell next, juggled between the slip fielders, and Alex Carey (2) soon had his stumps rattled as the 24-year-old’s fiery afternoon rampage continued.

Resuming from 33 overnight, Smith continued to accumulate while Starc opted for aggression, blasting a 14-ball 21 before presenting debutant Kevin Sinclair at backward point his third catch for the game.

Cummins, caught behind, added two before becoming Joseph’s sixth victim in a lionhearted 11-over spell which reduced the hosts to 187-8 at the major break.

Alzarri Joseph (2-62) captured Nathan Lyon’s (9) bottom-edge one ball after spilling a caught-and-bowled chance to have Australia nine down and trailing by 21, forcing Smith to up the ante by scooping a six over fine leg but in the end the hosts, sensationally, fell just short.

The final margin embodies an enthralling contest in which both sides experienced periods of ascendancy, however, the West Indies, who fielded four debutantes in the series, had to overcome their share of bad luck.

“I was just thinking of the basics, get it at the top of off,” Joseph said after the win.

“I was just trying to find my rhythm and that was important for me.”

‘West Indies can stand tall today’

Former West Indies captain and batting great Brian Lara, who was in the commentary box during the last moments, was in tears when the final Australian wicket went down.

Lara then lauded the team for staging a stunning win.

“Young, inexperienced, written off, this West Indies team can stand tall today, West Indies cricket can stand tall today,” he said once he had wiped away his tears.

“Congratulations to every single member of that team.”

The win has been hailed as the most remarkable win in Test cricket by former West Indies bowler and commentator Ian Bishop.

“The most remarkable Test win that I can put my mind on, given the context,” Bishop wrote in a post on X.

Bishop revealed how a year ago Joseph was dreaming of playing first-class cricket but has now led his team to a memorable Test win.

“Test cricket is alive and well,” he said, referring to the often questioned status of the sport’s longest format.

Former Australia cricketer-turned-coach Tom Moody said the win showed that “raw talent and fighting spirit can defy all odds”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies