32 balls, 7 wickets, 1 run: When Curtly Ambrose breathed fire and smashed Australia in Perth - WATCH
It was a winner takes all match between West Indies and Australia at the WACA in Perth. The pitch was spicy, it was fast and despite this, Australia were cruising along at 85 for two. This is when it all changed. Curtly Ambrose had the ball and it was the beginning of an unforgettable spell of fast bowling. In a space of 32 balls, Ambrose changed the complexion of the match. From 85 for 2 Australia were shot out for 119. West Indies ended the day on 135 for 1. By the third day, Ian Bishop announced his arrival as he bagged six wickets in the second innings. Allan Border did not have an entirely memorable match as he bagged his only in his first-class career.
The repercussions of the match was felt as the WACA groundsman was subsequently dismissed for preparing a surface which was very similar to home conditions for the West Indies bowling attack.
“We looked at the pitch, and it looked ripe for fast bowling,” Ambrose told cricket.com.au. “And I remember clearing saying to Richardson, our captain, ‘Skipper, if we win this toss, we win the Test match and the series’.
“When Richie came back he said, ‘Border won the toss’.
“I said, ‘Well, better bat well here boys’.
“To our surprise, ‘AB’ decided to bat first. We couldn’t understand it. And you know how the game went. So for me, I thought it was a mistake on the part of the great Allan Border.”
Speaks about his spell
“My first spell in the morning was a waste,” he recalled. “I didn’t really get it right – I was all over the place.
“I was very upset with myself because I mark myself very hard, and so do my teammates. So I went into lunch very, very upset with the way I bowled on a good pitch, and I thought, ‘Man I gotta get back here and do something special’.
“And everything just fell into place. Mark Waugh was first, and then that was it – I was basically unstoppable.”