The Roar
The Roar



Memorable bowling performances in the 1980s: Part 2

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Roar Guru
14th June, 2020

In the first part of this article I talked about six match-winning efforts from the first half of the 1980s.

Interestingly, four of those efforts came from England, with Headingley alone producing three memorable efforts.

But in the second part, venues from other parts of the world will come to prominence. And two spinners have made my list.

I will start at the Gabba.

Sir Richard Hadlee: 9-52 (first innings) against Australia at the Gabba in 1985
A year earlier the home side had suffered a humiliating defeat at this venue against the West Indies, unable to cope with the relentless short-pitched bowling from the Caribbean pace battery.

In 1985, they faced pace bowling of different type. After New Zealand captain Jeremy Coney decided to put the opposition in, Hadlee produced a superb display of swing and seam bowling to take 9-52 to bowl Australia out for 179 early on the second day.

He took all the four wickets to fall on the first day as the home side finished the rain-affected day at 4-146 with the two left-handers Kepler Wessels and Wayne Phillips attempting a recovery. But Hadlee dismissed Wessels early on the second day, and then he became almost unplayable for the batsmen.

However, he missed a golden opportunity to take all ten wickets, and he himself was partly responsible for the miss. He caught Geoff Lawson in the deep off the bowling of debutant spinner Vaughan Brown. Lawson was the ninth Australia batsman to be dismissed.

This was Brown’s only wicket in a two-Test career, and the Canterbury offie finished his Test career with a bowling average of 176.00.


Hadlee took 6-71 in the second innings as NZ recorded their first ever Test win on Australian soil, winning by ten wickets.

Richard Hadlee

(Simon Bruty /Allsport)

Honourable mention: Craig McDermott, 6-70 (first innings) against England at Lord’s in June.

Patrick Patterson: 4-30 (first innings) against England at Jamaica in 1986
Not very often a five-Test series gets decided on the opening day. But that was pretty much the case of the 1986 series between the West Indies and England.

On an under-prepared wicket, England’s innings lasted just 45.3 overs for 159 on the opening day. They scored 152 in the second innings, this time lasing 42.5 overs. They lost the match by ten wickets, but the damage was even more severe.

Wisden described the opening day’s play as “cricket’s equivalent to the Somme”. On a wicket misbehaving dangerously, both the technique and courage of the English batsmen was tested to the fullest.

While Graham Gooch top-scored with 51 from 88 balls, both David Gower and Allan Lamb attempted unsuccessful counter attacks in desperate bids to wrest back the initiative. The extraordinary thing was that amid the mayhem, no one was seriously hurt.

The Windies’ attack had three world-class fast bowlers, but it was the debutant Patrick Patterson who caused the greatest concern. Coming into the attack as the first-change bowler, he bowled ridiculously fast and got excellent rewards for his efforts.


After Gower won the toss and decided to bat first, the opening pair of Gooch and Tim Robinson did well to survive for an hour against Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall. But the introduction of Patterson changed the scenario.

He first got one to lift towards Robinson, who could do no more than give a catch to Gordon Greenidge. Gower, coming at number three, played an extraordinary knock of 16 from ten balls. He hit one four and one six. Holding trapped him LBW. And then Patterson had debutant David Smith caught behind for one. England had slumped to 3-53 from 0-32.

They were literally on the back foot, and they failed to get back on the front foot for the remainder of the series.

Patterson later picked up two more wickets late in the innings, and he also took 3-44 in the second innings. He was adjudged the man of the match.

Injuries and disciplinary problems meant that he only played 28 Tests for the Windies, taking 93 wickets. His nine-wicket match haul at the MCG in December 1988 can best be described as fast and furious.


Honourable mentions: Kapil Dev, 4-52 (second innings) against England at Lord’s in June, and Abdul Qadir, 6-16 (second innings) against the West Indies at Faisalabad in October.

Abdul Qadir: 9-56 against (first innings) against England in Lahore in 1987
Less than two years after facing the hostile pace attack at the Caribbean, the poor Englishmen faced spin bowling of the highest class.

At the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Qadir delighted his home crowd with a superb display of leg spin and googly bowling. Opener Chris Broad top-scored with 41, but no one in the England camp looked comfortable against him.

In fact, at one stage the tourists slumped to 8-94, and only some late-order fight brought some respectability to the scorecard.

He also took four wickets in the second innings as Pakistan won by an innings and 87 runs.

Abdul Qadir

(S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)

Honourable mention: Imran Khan, 7-40 (second innings) against England at Headingley in July.

Imran Khan: 7-80 (first innings) against the West Indies in Georgetown in 1988
Under the able leadership of Imran, Pakistan recorded historic series wins against India and England in 1987. In 1988, they came very close in the Windies before settling for a 1-1 draw.


Still, their nine-wicket success in Georgetown was the only home defeat for the West Indies in the decade. And it was the charismatic Pakistan captain who led from the front.

On the opening day, he produced a superb spell after tea, as the home side slumped from 4-220 to 292 all out in great batting conditions. Imran used the old ball superbly, as it reversed for him perfectly.

After a Javed Miandad hundred, Imran and Abdul Qadir restricted the West Indies to only 172 in the second outing.

Honourable mention: Narendra Hirwani, 8-61 and 8-75 in his debut against the West Indies in Madras in January.

Allan Border: 7-46 (first innings) against the West Indies at the SCG in 1989
After getting hold of the Frank Worrell Trophy in the late 1970s, the West Indies held on to it until 1995. Especially during the 1980s they enjoyed total dominance over Australia.

But at least the Aussies enjoyed a morale-boosting win over the West Indies at the SCG in early 1989, with their captain becoming the unlikely bowling hero.

After Viv Richards won the toss and decided to bat, the holiday crowd on Australia Day saw the West Indies’ openers dominate in the early part. They put on a 90-run partnership before Peter Taylor dismissed Greenidge for 56.


Sports opinion delivered daily 


Leg spinner Trevor Hohns dismissed in-form Desmond Haynes for 75. With SCG being a haven for spinners in the ’80s, the two specialist Aussie spinners were expected to play the leading role.

But it was the skipper Allan Border who, for once, took the spotlight with the ball, taking 7-46 with his left-arm spin. He ran through the middle order, as the West Indies slumped from 1-144 to 224 all out.

In reply, Australia batted for more than 190 overs to score 401. It was solid rather than spectacular batting. And despite a fine hundred from Haynes, Australia won by seven wickets. Border took 4-50 in the second innings. He also contributed 75 and 16 not out with the bat.

He was the obvious choice for the man of the match. While becoming the man of the match in a cricket match was nothing new for the Australian skipper, this was something different from other such awards.

Honourable mention: Mike Whitney, 7-89 (first innings) on a flat track at the Adelaide Oval against the West Indies in February.