Fifth Test Match

West Indies v England

At Georgetown, March 28, 29, 30, April 1, 2, 3. Drawn. Sobers, Kanhai and Gibbs took West Indies to the verge of victory in this six-day match.

They were frustrated by the same three English star batsmen of the fourth Test. Cowdrey, Barrington and Knott with, this time, unexpected but magnificent assistance from Lock and Pocock. Snow, too, helped materially to pull England through by crowning a series of personal triumph by taking ten for 142 on a pitch too slow for his liking.

The West Indies first innings was all Kanhai and Sobers, who made all except 112 of the total and scored 250 together. Until late in the proceedings England's innings was also a two-man show. Boycott reached 100 in four hours and a half, and Cowdrey helped him to add 172.

England's middle batting then broke down again, helped by some careless strokes, and at 259 for eight they were in grave danger. Lock, however, proceeded to bat with typical belligerence, and Pocock with such obstinacy that he spent nearly ninety minutes before scoring his first run. He stood firm while Lock battered all the bowlers. In the last hundred minutes of the fourth day they added 93, of which Lock drove and slammed 76.

On the next day they carried their stand to 109, England's best for the ninth wicket against West Indies. Lock, batting a few minutes longer, two and a half hours, superbly struck his highest score in first-class cricket.

Sobers was again the bulwark in the West Indies second innings, in which the others failed to capitalise on a dashing start by Nurse. From 86 for three Sobers steered his side to 264, batting chancelessly from around two o'clock until almost 5.30, when he ran out of partners only five short of another century. It was a great innings.

England had to bat throughout the last day. In ninety-five minutes they plunged to 41 for five, shattered by Gibbs and without any excuse to be found in the conditions, for the spinners turned the ball only slowly. All seemed lost when Knott joined Cowdrey, but he was there to stay until the end, nearly four hours later. Cowdrey and Knott scored 127 together, and, when Cowdrey's shrewd, commanding innings of 82 ended, seventy minutes remained.

Somehow, Knott extracted enough help from the tail-enders to steer his side to safety. Crisis loomed when Pocock was out to a first bounce catch, but Jones managed to scramble through the final over from Gibbs.

Gibbs bowled beautifully, starting with four for 12 in fourteen overs before lunch, but the honours lay largely with Knott in only his fourth Test. He had some luck at the start, missed by Murray off Gibbs, but once into his stride was well nigh as assured as Cowdrey and no less courageous.

© John Wisden & Co