Shamar Joseph was running like Usain Bolt after bowling Josh Hazlewood. When exactly did the race start? When he dropped the pink ball off-stump, when he stood on the edge of the run-up to bowl, or when he surprised everyone this morning when he picked up the ball?
No, Shamar’s run started about 16,000 kilometers away. The 24-year-old Caribbean is known as Guyana’s pacer. But it doesn’t make sense. Born in an isolated village called Barakara. The village, which cannot be reached except by river, is about 225 km from the city. It sometimes takes two days to get to Georgetown, the singing capital.
There is a primary school in the village, if you want to study more than that you have to go somewhere else. Before 2018, there was no telephone or internet service in that village.
The youth of that village stole the light last week. First ball wicket on debut, five wickets in first innings. However, no one could have imagined that after 27 years, this Joseph will become the hero of West Indies’ Test win on Australian soil.
This script beats any Hollywood movie. Australia needed 156 runs, 8 wickets in hand to win on the fourth day of the second Test of the series in Brisbane. With the Caribbean’s recent performances, everyone thought they were headed for another bad loss.
Mitchell Starc’s yorker drew blood from his right big toe while batting yesterday. Joseph Kal couldn’t get off the field after being retired. Seeing the nature of the injury, everyone thought that he might not return to the match.
In front of Steve Smith and Cameron Greene, the Caribbean bowlers were ignored in the first 11 overs of the day. Australia crossed the hundred by 2 wickets.
But in the meantime, Joseph came down in the 25th over of the innings. Couldn’t walk properly, where he got pain, it was clearly understood by looking at that part of the shoes. Shamar came to bowl in the 29th over.
And sealed the match in his second over. In the 31st over, the 24-year-old broke the stumps of Green and Head in two consecutive balls. The second of these is a superb yorker. A yorker almost got him off the field yesterday.
In the fifth over, the stumps were broken again, this time by Alex Carey. In the previous over, Mitchell forced Marsh to take a catch behind the wicket. Australia’s 6 wickets for 136 runs from 2 wickets for 13 runs. A small number of visitors in Brisbane then wondered what is going on? After the end of the over, the bowler who has to dig even if he wants to walk, how is the fire coming?
Shamar Joseph’s story would have lessened their surprise. In this era when young talents are discovered before they hit their teens, Joseph was in a different world last year too. Joseph worked as a security guard in January 2023 to earn a living.
Then Joseph left the job to change the course of his life. Take the tape tennis ball. A 24-year-old playing tape tennis at this age? Of course, this is the beginning of bowling for him who has lemon, pear and peach fruit in hand – or less? With this came the attention of the legend Kurtley Ambrose. The selectors of the West Indies team before the year is over.
At one end of the field, Smith continued to fight. Shamar Joseph was spreading terror on the other side. Couldn’t get over the yorker but at least got revenge by dismissing Starc, sending Cummins on extra bounce.
Australia needed 29 more runs in the second session. On the other hand, West Indies need 2 wickets. No one would have objected if Shamar was called instead of Windies. He took all six wickets of Australia in the first session. Alzari Joseph brought back the Lions in the first over after coming back from the break. Last wicket Australia need 25 runs.
Smith, who came down to open, reduced it to 9 with a single effort. The Brisbane crowd was dreaming of a great victory. Smith took Shamar’s first 4 balls, leaving Josh Hazlewood to play the last two balls.
Shamar runs from round the wicket. A length ball goes perfectly on the seam and goes past the bat, dropped by Bell. Australia is still 8 runs behind Windies.
Shamer was running, his teammates were running. Adam Gilchrist was also ecstatic in the commentary room, with Brian Lara crying beside him. Karl Hooper is crying in the dressing room. How did the 24-year-old Joseph bring a victory that had eluded him for 27 years?
Joseph once again showed how cricket tells the story of people. The day before, a young man without a field, with a bloody foot on another’s shoulder, gave birth to such a fairy tale the next day. Of course, what is this for someone who took a wicket on his Test debut while playing jungle-cricket with lemons and guavas!