New Delhi. Talking about spin bowler in cricket, first of all the name of former Sri Lankan veteran spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is remembered. But few people know the name of Lance Gibbs. He was the first spin bowler to take 300 wickets in Test cricket. Not only this, if we talk about the economy of bowlers who have taken more than 300 wickets in the world, even today Gibbs of West Indies is on top. Today he turns 87. This off-spinner has taken more than 1000 wickets in first class cricket. Gibbs’ achievement was even more significant because the West Indies team was known for its fast bowlers.
Lance Gibbs made his debut against Pakistan on 5 February 1958. He took 4 wickets in the first match. He did the feat of taking 5 wickets in an innings in the third test itself. He took 5 wickets for 80 runs in the second innings of the Test played against Pakistan on 13 March 1958. In December 1958, he got an opportunity to play a Test match on the tour of India, but he could not take wickets.
The team got a memorable victory in Sydney
The first Test on the 1960–61 tour of Australia was a tie. West Indies were defeated in the second test. After this, Lance Gibbs got a chance to play in the third Test. He took five wickets in the first innings on a pitch favored by fast bowlers. He had bundled out Australia with 3 wickets in 4 balls. In the next Test played in Adelaide, Gibbs created panic by taking a hat-trick. He became the first bowler to take a hat-trick against Australia in the 20th century. He took 19 wickets in 3 matches of the series.
The only bowler in the world with an economy of less than 2
In 79 Tests of his career, Lance Gibbs took 309 wickets at an average of 29. During this his economy was 1.98. Among bowlers who have taken 300 or more wickets in the world, only Lance has an economy of less than 2. Muttiah Muralitharan, the most successful bowler in Test cricket, gave runs at an economy of 2.47. Lance took 5 wickets 18 times and 10 wickets twice. He was successful in taking 1024 wickets in 330 matches of first class cricket. He took 50 wickets 5 and 10 times.
Average of 57 overs bowled in each match
Lance Gibbs career bowled 27115 balls. He bowled an average of 57 overs in each Test. He is at number 5 in the list of bowlers who have bowled the most overs on average in each test in Test cricket. The pairing of Gibbs and Gary Sobers was also a hit. When Gibbs used to bowl, Sobers used to field close on the leg side. He took 60 catches on the bowling of Gibbs. This is the most successful West Indies pair till date.