West Indies’ Shamar Joseph madness leaves cricket world in disbelief in second Test against Australia, toe injury

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If Shamar Joseph is anything to go by, there may still be hope yet for West Indian cricket.

The 24-year-old West Indian quick had already been the talk of the two-match series when he took hit a rapid 36 from No. 11 before taking 5/94 in Australia’s first innings of the first Test in Adelaide.

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But the young gun has etched himself into cricketing folklore, taking 7/68 to lead his side to an eight-run win — the West Indies’ first win in 27 years.

A man who last year was a security guard, Joseph had quickly emerged as the future of West Indian cricket after taking 6/60 in the lead up to tea.

Joseph bowled Cameron Green, Travis Head for a rare king pair and Alex Carey while Mitch Marsh, Mitch Starc and Pat Cummins all gave up chances which were happily snapped up by his teammates.

He topped it off by knocking Josh Hazlewood’s off-stump out of the ground, sealing an eight-run win for the visitors.

When he bowled Carey, commentator Ian Smith for Fox Cricket screamed: “This young fellow’s creating history here today folks. I hope you’re loving — we are.

“This is just out of this world.”

It’s even more special considering no one expected him to even play on day four.

Late on day three, Joseph retired hurt after copping the brunt of a Mitchell Starc yorker on the end of his big toe.

It was given out on-field but overturned by the umpire when it was shown Starc had overstepped.

But he was sent for scans for what many watching believed would be a broken, if not very bruised, big toe.

With blood seen around the toe, it looked like it was the end of the Test for the 24-year-old tearaway.

Cleared of a fracture overnight, it seemed unlikely Joseph would play on day four to help the Windies attempt to take eight more wickets to complete his nation’s first victory on Australian soil since 1997.

That was until he rocked up on the field.

Asked when Kavem Hodge realised Joseph was going to bowl, he replied: “To be honest, I just saw him turn up on the field.

“It was really good, he’s got a fighting spirit and hopefully he can finish off the job for us.”

It was a sentiment echoed by the Fox Cricket commentators, including West Indian legend Brian Lara.

Even Joseph himself said he didn’t think he’d play.

“I wasn’t even coming on the ground this morning,” he said after sealing the victory.

“I must give a shout out to Dr. Byam (West Indies team physiotherapist), he’s been an amazing doctor to me. He told me to come to the ground for a reason, even if it’s just to support the guys. But he did something to my toe, I don’t know what he did, but something worked.

“So I had time to go out there and bowl and bring this game home for my team.”

The cricket world was left in disbelief over the chaos caused by the young gun.

West Indian great turned commentator Ian Bishop tweeted: “Shamar Joseph is a superstar in the making. What a first test match tour.”

Cricbuzz’s Bharat Sundaresan said: “The most unbelievable bit about this unbelievable spell from Shamar Joseph is that he’s literally hobbling in between overs on the boundary and still getting quicker with each over.”

AAP’s Scott Bailey opined: “This is one of the great spells in a Test in Australia this century by Shamar Joseph.

“Less than 12 months after his first professional cricket match and less than 24 hours from having his toe destroyed by a Mitchell Starc yorker.”

Dan Liebke joked: “Like a fool, Mitchell Starc has taught Shamar Joseph the power of the yorker.”

Broadcaster Adam White wrote: “Shamar Joseph went to hospital last night to get scans on a suspected broken toe. Today he’s just bowled ten consecutive overs in energy-sapping high humidity. He’s taken six wickets and bowled at speeds close to 150kph. In his second Test match. Simply extraordinary.”

ESPN’s Arround the Wicket host Neroli Meadows commented: “Wonderful session of Test cricket. Shamar Joseph tough & talented! Kudos also to Steve Smith – under pressure in new role as opener and sweating through oppressive humidity as others fell around him.”

Nine’s Mark Gottlieb posted: “There’s maybe a few thousand fans at the Gabba right now and yet in years to come millions will claim they were there the day Shamar Joseph tore Australia to shreds on one foot.

“What an extraordinary day of test cricket!”

Commentator Rick Fontyn added: “Retired hurt last night, trip to hospital and now one of the most inspiring spells of bowling seen at the GABBA by a visiting bowler in years.

“Take a bow Shamar Joseph!”

However, Hodge admitted that as the session went on, the pain was starting to get to Joseph.

“Whatever they did to it, it’s starting to wear off, he’s having a bit of pain,” he said.

“Whatever secret juice they gave him, hopefully he gets some more.

“Kudos to him, he’s doing an amazing job.”

Whatever happened in the break must have been good as he sealed the victory with an absolute peach.

The West Indies have traditionally been a cricket powerhouse but have struggled to regain their past glory of the 1970s and 1980s over the past 30 years.

Maybe if Joseph and co. continue, there could be some more success around the corner.