July 1, 2000

The Magic of Lord's when England play West Indies

Clayton Goodwin

The excitement and the memorable climax to this Test Match stands in a long tradition of such finishes when England play West Indies at Lord's. The only difference this time is that somebody won - England by 2 wickets if you need reminding! For once cricket could wipe the all-pervading football from the lead sports pages and the game itself even went on to the front-pages of the national press.

Yet it has happened here before - except the result - several times. Three consecutive Test Matches between England and West Indies at Lord's in the 1960s ended drawn in an excitement which could not be invented. In 1963 Colin Cowdrey came down pavilion steps with his arm bandaged to face the express-pace bowling of Wesley Hall and Charlie Griffith in dying light five runs and two wickets between the teams. In 1966 Gary Sobers and his cousin David Holford saved West Indies with a record partnership after they were at one stage were just nine runs ahead with five wickets in hand (and England still to bat). There was a parallel to today in 1969 when England finished 36 runs behind with three wickets to fall - that parallel being that then Jackie Hampshire scored 107 on his Test Match debut and this time round he was umpire.