Thanks to a second innings bowling effort led by Ben Hilfenhaus, the visiting Australians were able to defeat a confident West Indies team in the first Test of the three-match series. The hosts were taken by surprise as the Tasmanian pacer bowled a dream spell just before the tea break on the fourth day of the Test.
The Kensington Oval wicket offered Hilfenhaus ideal seam movement as he claimed the top three wickets of Adrian Barath, Kraigg Brathwaite and Kirk Edwards off unplayable deliveries. As such, his fiery bowling laid the foundation for an improbable win for Australia.
Earlier, the West Indies had piled on 449 for nine in their first innings after batting for nearly two days, so the Australian batting line-up was always playing catch up with this mammoth score. However, lower order heroics by Man of the Match Ryan Harris (68*), Nathan Lyon (40*), and of course Hilfenhaus (24) took the visitors to 406 for nine.
At this point skipper, Michael Clarke, decided to declare the innings despite his side trailing by 43 runs. He was hoping for his frontline pace bowlers to come through and get him some wickets before stumps on Day 4.
Sure enough, Hilfenhaus stepped up to the plate and ensured that the hosts were crippled right from the get-go. His efforts allowed the rest of the Aussie bowlers to make inroads into a deep West Indian line-up that could only manage 148 in the second innings.
The Australians ended up winning the match by three wickets. However, they did suffer some major hiccups on their way to victory. Eventually though, Harris (4) and--you guessed it--Hilfenhaus (2) saw their team home.
So, for getting the crucial breakthroughs that led to his team's win, we proclaim Australia's Ben Hilfenhaus our 'Sports Hero of the Week!