He was born in the land of Holdings,Pattersons and walshes,but he chose to represent the English.He made his debut in 1984 for Derbyshire and went on to debut for England in 1989 againist Australia at Nottingham.On his day he was as quick as any of his illustrious fellow Jamaicans.
On that day at the Oval in London the Proteas found out what happens when you stir a sleeping giant.It was another summer in England and the South Africans were playing the Englishmen in the third test at the Oval.The Proteans were down to the tailenders when Michael Atherton asked his fastest bowler to bowl a few bouncers at Allan Donald,Fanie De Villiers and company.Devon Malcolm refused to do it,it seemed he was part of a league which had a un written understanding not to bowl bouncers at fellow fast bowlers.the proteans managed to 332 all out with Brian Mcmillan scoring 93 and Defreitas and debutant medium pacer Joey Benjamin took 4 wickets each.
The English innings began and were at 5 for 165 and 7 for 222 when some dogged batting by Defreitas and Gough took them to 292,at 293 for 9 Malcolm walked into bat.The South African trio of Donald,De Villiers and Matthews were running riot that day.As Malcolm started batting and De Villiers ran in to bowl the wicketkeeper and slips shouted”let him have one”,it seemed De Villiers didn’t believe in not bowling bouncers to his fellow fast bowlers,the next bowl clanged into Malcolm's helmet and made his English badge fly.It was then that Malcolm let out those famous to the South African slip cordon”You guys are history”The English were bowled out for 304.
The South Africans began 28 runs ahead.Soon Gary Kirsten flinched a return catch to Malcolm.His brother Peter tried to wildly hook a thunderbolt of a bouncer from Malcolm and was out caught at fine leg.That shot virtually took out the pull off all the remaining South Africans batsmen’s armoury.Few balls later Malcolm bowled a bowl at the speed of greased lightning as Cronje’s bat came down hours after the Yorker had knocked back his middle stump.Kepler Wessels was caught driving by the wicketkeeper and 1st innings hero Mcmillan was out caught off a vicious lifter.Richardson was caught plumb in fornt beaten by sheer pace.Matthews was out fending a ball aimed at his ribs.Soon Cullinan the only South African to score some runs(94) was picked up by Darren Gough.Malcolm sent Donald and Rhodes back to the pavilion to finish with 9 for 57 and and the the South Africans were out for 175.
England went on to score the required 205 runs with 8 wickets to spare.with the South African bowlers leaking runs at about 6 runs an over and Donald going for about 8 an over on the same pitch.Richardson later said"He put the fear of god into us".
Malcolm played 40 tests for England and took 128 wickets.After years of being in and out of team due to poor form,erratic bowling and confrontations with coaches Malcolm played his last test in 1997 againist the Australians at The Oval.Though Malcolm never achieved the heights of his fellow Jamaicans,on that day at Oval he was as quick and frightening as Holding or Patterson and as consistent as Walsh.
PS:Ludh,this article is for you specially.Hope you liked it.
The Scorecard: http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63651.html
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