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Five of the best cricket collapses.

Byline: By Wales on Sunday

Steve 'grievous bodily' HARMISON'S 7-12 destruction of the West Indies in Jamaica brought to mind some other famous batting collapses.

SOUTH AFRICA v England (The Oval, 1994)

FANIE DE VILLIERS and the South Africans discovered Devon Malcolm's vicious streak. Malcolm, known as 'The Dude' by his teammates, had failed to convince the England selectors that he was worth a regular place in the side, but he was called back into the final Test of the series as a desperate measure. England were 1-0 down in the series and looked in danger of losing the match when de Villiers misguidedly clattered Malcolm on the helmet and sent his England badge flying. Whatever it was that Malcolm said to the South Africans remains a matter for conjecture, but as wicket-keeper Dave Richardson admitted: 'It put the fear of God into us.'

The beast had been unleashed. Malcolm tore in with the new ball, and scattered the South Africans in a never-to-be-forgotten spell of 9-57 which set up England's victory. His figures remain the third-best by a fast bowler in Tests. When he was introduced to Nelson Mandela some years later, the South African president greeted him with the words: 'Ah, you are the destroyer!'

WEST INDIES v England (Port of Spain, Trinidad, 1994)

ENGLAND were left a comfortable victory target of 194 runs after the West Indies had twice batted poorly in the third Test of the series. Comfortable, that is, unless you had to face the giant Curtly Ambrose.

Ambrose was simply unplayable on a pitch with low bounce that had started to break up. His lightning accuracy was the key, and England captain Mike Atherton and Co had no answer to it.

There were two days to play when the English took to the field, but the Windies needed just 19.1 overs to complete one of the most famous victories in the history of Test cricket. It was once again the partnership of Ambrose and Walsh that did the damage as England were bundled out for just 46 runs. Ambrose took 6-24 from 10 overs and ended up with match figures of 11-84. It was England's 2nd lowest Test score. The West Indies won by 147 runs to take charge of the series.

ENGLAND v West Indies (Headingley, 2000)

THIS will be remembered as the two-day Test match with wickets flying all over the place. But the significant last hurrah came from England's unpredictable New Zealand-born paceman Andy Caddick. Partner Darren Gough had reduced the West Indies to 21-4, but Jimmy Adams and Ramnaresh Sarwan briefly stemmed the tide with a stand of 28 before Dominic Cork bowled West Indies captain Adams off an inside edge for 19. Enter Caddick for his second spell of the innings. He sprang in to the wicket and swept away the rest of the batting in a spell of five wickets for five runs. He had Ridley Jacobs lbw, bowled Nixon McLean and Curtly Ambrose in successive balls, and then added the wickets of Reon King and Courtney Walsh, also by hitting the stumps. Game over with three days to play!

AUSTRALIA v South Africa (third Test, Sydney, January 1994)

SOUTH AFRICA, having just been brought back into the World cricket fold, were still finding their feet - but no one could question their heart. And that particularly applied to their two pace bowlers, De Villiers and Allan Donald. The odds seemed stacked against them when the Proteas came up against the powerful Australians at the start of 1994. The Sydney Test looked a foregone conclusion with victory looking assured for the Aussies, who were left with only a meagre target to chase.

But the South Africans bounced back in devastating style, De Villiers taking six wickets and Donald three as they took the match by five runs, skittling out Mark Taylor's men for 111 in their second innings.

ENGLAND v Australia (the Oval, 1882)

THIS is the famous match which launched the Ashes as a series. England looked to be comfortably in control, and needed just 82 runs to win. And even though the Australian bowler Spofforth applied the pressure early by clean bowling Hornby and Barlow in successive balls, England still looked in control. Ulyett and Grace steadied the sinking ship and took the score to 51 before Blackham caught Ulyett at the wicket - Spofforth taking the wicket again. Tight bowling and very defensive batting by Lucas and Lyttelton saw them play out 12 successive maiden overs. Yet when England reached 70 and victory appeared inevitable, they lost six wickets for seven runs, leaving them seven short of their target. Spofforth finished with match figures of 14-90. Due to the bizarre twist and turns of the match, one spectator died from a heart attack during the closing moments and at the end of the week The Sporting Times published a famous obituary notice, which read: 'In Affectionate Remembrance of English cricket, which died at the Oval on 29th August, 1882, deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. R. I. P. (N.B. - The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia).'

Compiled by: NICK RIPPINGTON
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 21, 2004
Words:864
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