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World Cup Vignette

Winston's day out

Winston Davis cleaned up Australia with 7 for 51, his finest performance, giving West Indies an easy win

Dileep Premachandran
When Winston Davis stepped into the World Cup limelight, he was the one anonymous link in an otherwise legendary bowling line-up. West Indies had been shocked in their opening encounter by India, and Davis was one of the new faces to come in for the next game, against an Australian side that had suffered similar embarrassment against the new boys from Zimbabwe.
In his only previous one-day appearance, Davis had taken 1 for 40 in a losing cause in Berbice, as Kapil Dev's Indians hinted at what was to come in the month of June. But given his chance on a tricky Headingley pitch, he came up with the sort of performance that most tyros can only dream about. West Indies had posted a competitive 252 in a match that crossed over into a second day because of inclement weather, and Australia's response started badly when Graeme Wood went to hospital with concussion due to a Michael Holding bouncer. Andy Roberts cleaned up Kepler Wessels soon after, but Australia had started to fight back by the time Davis was introduced.
His first wicket was a prized one, Kim Hughes, and though David Hookes and Graham Yallop added a brisk 59, it was Davis who had the last word. He dismissed both in quick succession, and added four more to end the innings as Australia finished 101 short. Coming from a back-up bowler, it was a quite astonishing spell.
Ultimately, though, it was to be a lone swallow of summer in a career that never again scaled such heights. In four further outings in the group stages, Davis had 1 for 155 from 44 overs, tidy but hardly enough to keep out the likes of Malcolm Marshall. An accident in 1998 left him paralysed, but along with the likes of Gary Gilmour and John Davison he has a corner all to himself in the World Cup Hall of Fame.