Steve Smith.
Steve Smith carried his bat but was unable to prevent the West Indies claiming a great Test victory. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS
  • cricket

Aussies crumble at hands of new ‘superstar’ Joseph


January 28, 2024

Pat Cummins reckons some of his batsmen will have regrets after cricket’s new superstar Shamar Joseph rattled through Australia to conjure a Gabba Test miracle for West Indies.

Joseph defied a sleepless night after his toe was crushed by a Mitchell Starc yorker to take 7-68 as the hosts crumbled to lose in Brisbane by eight runs on Sunday.

Steve Smith (91 not out) carried his bat in his second Test as an opener, launching an audacious rescue mission that fell two more lusty blows short.

Chasing 216, Australia were cruising before Joseph – in such pain and so sure he wouldn’t bowl that he didn’t bring his whites to the ground – was introduced.

From 2-113 they lost 8-94, Cameron Green (42), Travis Head (0), Mitchell Marsh (10), Alex Carey (2), Mitchell Starc (21) and Pat Cummins (2)  all victims in an incredible 10-over spell in the first session.

It was Head’s fourth dismissal from his last four balls faced in Tests at the Gabba, the left-hander the seventh Australia to register a king pair. 

Nathan Lyon went in the first over after tea before Joseph was given a look at Josh Hazlewood and needed no further invitation. 

shamar
 An injured Shamar Joseph took 7-68 to turn the Test on its head. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS 

He castled the No.11 then sprinted towards his team dugout as former greats Ian Bishop, Carl Hooper and Brian Lara – all in the last West Indies team to win in Australia 27 years ago – held back tears in the stands.

The 24-year-old made his professional debut less than a year ago but was able to sustain speeds close to 150kmh and torment an Australian unit that could only tip their cap.

It followed a five-wicket haul in his Adelaide debut that included the wicket of Smith with his first ball.

“You’ve got to find a way to get yourself into your innings and I’m sure a couple of batters will look at a couple of ways they were dismissed,” Cummins said.

“They outplayed us, they played brilliantly.

“There was a lot of the talk coming in about their debutants … but they’ve created a couple of new superstars we didn’t know about.

“As a cricket fan, a Test match cricket fan, there’s a part of me that was happy to watch.”

It meant Australia settled for a 4-1 home summer that was closer than on paper with Pakistan unable to take their moments in a 3-0 series loss.

“There’s been times the batters have got us out of trouble and times the bowlers have,” Cummins said.

“In the Pakistan series we found a way to win, unfortunately wasn’t the case in this one.

“But ideally, those kind of totals, we are chasing down.” 

West Indies were missing seven players who toured a year earlier, with Brisbane debutant Kevin Sinclair and second-gamer Kavem Hodge also brilliant at the Gabba and fresh-faced Kirk McKenzie fluent at No.3 in both Tests.

Captain and Test mainstay Kraigg Brathwaite only met Joseph for the first time on this tour.

shanar joseph
 Matchwinner Shamar Joseph is the toast of the West Indies after bowling out Australia. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS 

“And just from speaking to him, I knew he was special,” he said.

“He told me I’m not putting down this ball until the last wicket falls.”

Braithwaite said it was now on this squad to return to their respective islands and lead the way to ensure the victory resonated at a time where more and more talent is preferring the global T20 circuit’s riches. 

“It means everything with the legends here watching,” he said.

“Everyone loves West Indies and for us to come and do it against the No.1 team in the world in Australia, is amazing.

“It shows, once you have the belief, play with some heart, you can do anything.”

WEST INDIES GABBA MIRACLE

* Second time Australia have lost at Gabba in 35 years. 

* First time Australia have lost a pink-ball Test. 

* First time West Indies have beaten Australia since 2003.  

*First time West Indies have won in Australia since 1997.