There will be blood
Mitchell Johnson’s spell at Kingsmead threatened to send several South Africans to the physio’s table. We look back at some of the most hostile bowling spells in Test cricket
Devon Malcolm v South Africa, The Oval, 1994
Bouncing a tailender is not uncommon, but striking him flush on the helmet isn’t always recommended, as South Africa found out in the rudest possible manner. When Malcolm copped a blow close to his eyes off Fanie de Villiers, he muttered in anger, “You guys are history.” And he didn’t just talk the talk. Earlier in the game, he had politely refused his captain’s request to bounce the England tail, but as the match wore on, he turned over a new leaf and proceeded to demonise the visitors on a lightning fast pitch. Malcolm set the tone with a nasty lifter to get rid of Gary Kirsten, and South Africa were soon in a mess at 1 for 3. He swung the ball in at raw pace, got it to kick and bounce, and looked set to snatch all 10. Daryll Cullinan, whose 94 got lost in the procession of wickets, was the only one to escape the whirlwind: Malcolm finished with 9 for 57, a spell that set up England’s series-levelling win.
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