Second Test Match

West Indies v Zimbabwe 1999-2000

At Kingston, March 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. West Indies won by ten wickets. Toss: Zimbabwe.

Jamaica's favourite cricketer became Test cricket's leading wicket-taker in front of several thousand ecstatic countrymen. In his 16th international season and 114th Test, Courtney Walsh reached the magical mark of 435 at 5.12 p.m. on the fourth day when Zimbabwe's last man, Olonga, pushed a lifting ball to short leg, where Hinds pouched it left-handed. The catch took Walsh past India's Kapil Dev, who took 434 wickets in 131 Tests.

Two other Jamaicans - there were five in the eleven - Adams and Rose, had already transformed the match with an eighth-wicket stand of 147, a West Indian Test record, to establish an unexpected first-innings lead. Up until then, Zimbabwe had matched West Indies for two and a half days, despite their top order again being found wanting. Walsh had broken through swiftly, taking Grant Flower's edge to go level with Sir Richard Hadlee on 431 wickets, and King struck twice before lunch. However, Andy Flower and Goodwin launched a spirited revival, adding 176 in the last two sessions with enterprising strokeplay until they perished off successive deliveries: Goodwin was run out by Hinds's swoop and accurate return; Flower played no shot at Rose's next delivery and lost his off stump. Goodwin's 113, his second Test century, lasted 324 minutes and 239 balls; though he favoured the off side, his ten fours were hit to all parts of the ground.

Next day, King completed his first five-wicket haul in his fifth Test, but Carlisle and Olonga added 54, a Zimbabwe tenth-wicket record, and had stretched the total to 308 when Carlisle became Walsh's 432nd victim. Already, though, Zimbabwe had suffered a severe handicap, with Streak forced to miss the rest of the match because of muscle spasms and strained ligaments in his back. His team-mates did not let him down, however, bowling with discipline and accuracy. Only Sherwin Campbell, with 48 in two hours, broke their stranglehold on the second day.

West Indies deteriorated to 171 for seven after lunch on the third day before Adams and Rose turned things around, advancing the score to 318 on the fourth morning. Rose lashed 12 boundaries in his career-best 69 before he was caught behind, leaving Adams on 89. He lost Walsh three balls later but, with last man King safely negotiating 19 balls, eventually reached his sixth Test hundred - the first since his 208 not out against New Zealand in 1995-96 and, at 496 minutes (71 more than Larry Gomes took against Australia at Perth in 1984-85), the slowest Test century for West Indies. In 366 deliveries, Adams hit only six fours.

The scene was now set for Walsh. With the Blue Mountains at his back, he despatched Gripper and Grant Flower in his seventh over, both to outside edges, to draw level with Kapil. The crowd sensed history, but they, and Walsh, were kept waiting until the end as Zimbabwe's middle order was swept away by Walsh's colleagues. When he returned for his third spell, at 98 for seven with Streak unable to bat, the tension grew - and became electric when Rose accounted for Strang. But the fifth ball of Walsh's 16th over was short of a length, jagging back into Olonga's rib cage, and produced the desired result. It was the signal for wild celebrations. Walsh started with high fives, then kissed the pitch where he had taken 42 wickets in ten Tests. There were hugs and kisses from his mother, Joan Wollaston, and 13-year-old son Courtney Junior, a lap of honour after the day's play, and special tributes from Kapil (live from Sharjah, where he was coaching India) and Jamaica's prime minister. The next night, Walsh was honoured by the government and presented with a plot of land. Long before that, of course, West Indies had raced to their ten-wicket win, spurred on by Griffith's frenetic 54 in 41 balls with its 11 fours.

Man of the Match: J. C. Adams. Man of the Series: F. A. Rose.

© John Wisden & Co