Harmison stuns West Indies with 'magical' display

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The Independent Online

Michael Vaughan hailed Stephen Harmison's match-winning performance in the first Test at Sabina Park as one of the greatest spells of bowling ever produced by an Englishman. Harmison's seven-wicket rout of the West Indies helped England crush their hosts by 10 wickets and take a one-match lead in the four-Test series.

Michael Vaughan hailed Stephen Harmison's match-winning performance in the first Test at Sabina Park as one of the greatest spells of bowling ever produced by an Englishman. Harmison's seven-wicket rout of the West Indies helped England crush their hosts by 10 wickets and take a one-match lead in the four-Test series.

During an unbelievable 132 minutes of cricket, the Durham paceman transformed an even contest into a stroll for his side with an awesome display of fast bowling. The West Indies simply had no answer to Harmison's pace and bounce and were bowled out for 47 in their second innings.

The 25-year-old's final bowling figures of 7 for 12 were the best ever at this venue and confirmed him as one most fearsome bowlers in the world.

Needing just 20 for victory, England reached their target off only 15 balls when a throw at the stumps from Ridley Jacobs, the West Indian wicketkeeper, missed, allowing Vaughan and his fellow opener Marcus Trescothick to scamper through for a single.

"Before the game I asked for a couple of magical performances from key individuals," Vaughan said. "Steve has just produced one of the greatest spells of bowling by an England player, so I guess that's pretty magic.

"Full credit to Steve because he arrived in the Caribbean full of fitness and enthusiasm and I've seen a real focus in his practice and work ethic over the last three weeks.

"I must also thank Newcastle United for whatever they've done for him over the past three months because he's come back fit and strong and showed this morning what a huge asset he is to the team ­ his spell was just fantastic.

"We have been up for it from the moment we arrived in the Caribbean; you can put as much hard work in as you want but if you don't have a guy like Steve producing a magical performance, it all goes by the wayside," the England captain added.

While England's cricketers and supporters celebrated a memorable victory, Harmison struggled to come to terms with what had just taken place. "To be honest I am absolutely speechless," he said. "It was one of those days when things go right for you. I learned in the first innings that I needed to bowl a little fuller this morning.

"They say that when you work hard you get your results but I just can't believe what has happened."

Gayle c Thorpe b Harmison 9
West Indies 1-13

Sarwan lbw b Harmison 0
West Indies 2-13

Chanderpaul b Harmison 0
West Indies 3-15

Lara c Flintoff b Hoggard 0
West Indies 4-16

Smith c & b Hoggard 12
West Indies 5-21

Jacobs c Hussain b Harmison 15
West Indies 6-41

Best c Read b Harmison 0
West Indies 7-41

Hinds c Read b Jones 3
West Indies 8-43

Sanford c Trescothick b Harmison 1
West Indies 9-43

Edwards c Trescothick b Harmison 0
W Indies 47 all out

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