Merv Hughes was a huge bowler, not so much physically but performance wise, always willing to give his all and inspire his team. inspire is what Merv did in that December 1988 Perth test match that Australians were chasing right from the begining. Visitors had raced 280 for 4 at the end of first day's play after being inserted in to bat first and finished with solid 449 in first innings. Aussie response hovered around Graeme Wood but home team finished up giving 54 run lead.
On day 4, Merv Hughes bowled whole-heartedly, taking 8 wickets. Since Windies had declared at 349/9, the only batsman Merv did not dismiss was Malcom Marshall who was caught behind of Tony Dodemaide.
Aussies got 404 to chase in 4th innings which they failed by 169 runs, giving West Indies a 2-0 lead in that 5 test series. Hughes was still named the man of the match for his 13 wickets.
Garth McKenzie, the western Australia right arm fast bowler, holds the record for best bowling in Australia vs West Indies test matches, for his 8 for 71 runs at Melbourne cricket ground. Hughes and Lawson have also acheived the rare feat but McKenzie was more economical.
An 8 ball per over test match it was and Australians had elected to bowl. Sending down a dream spell, McKenzie got first wicket in first over and then also the last wicket of Lance Gibbs. The only two he missed were Basil Butcher (lbw b Gleesan) and Seymour Nurse (c Jarman b Freeman).
Geoff Lawson is the only 3rd bowler to take 8 wickets in an Australia v West Indies test match. Lawson did it at Adelaide Oval, yet his team lost by a healthy margin of 191 runs, giving visitors a commanding 3-0 lead in that 5 match series in year 1984.
Interesting is Allan Border's name in following list. A record breaking top order batsman, Allan has 73 wickets in test cricket and 11 of those came in just one match against West Indies at Sydney cricket ground. back in January of 1989 when visitors had won all of previous 3 tests, Border had to do something as captain and decided to bowl himself, returned with 7 & 4 wickets in two innings. This was the first win for Australia in that series.
List updated : 1 December 2009.