Prudential Trophy (First Match)


Toss: England. LOI debuts: England - M.H.Denness, M.Hendrick, C.M.Old, M.J.Smith, R.W.Taylor, R.G.D.Willis; West Indies - All. .

England won this 55 overs a side match by one wicket. Denness, the Man of the Match, made a successful debut as captain of England, who had three balls to spare at the end of a thrilling, closely-fought contest.

Denness put his side within sight of victory before the West Indies bowlers hit back. After Boycott had gone without scoring in the fourth over, Smith and Denness added 71 in 22 overs to give England a sound foundation. Greig and his captain added 48 in nine overs for the fifth wicket. When Denness was bowled trying to sweep Gibbs he had batted splendidly for 66 off 41 overs in under two and a half hours and England then needed 39 from 10 overs.

The match came to the boil in the 54th over which began with seven wanted from three wickets. One had been made when Greig ballooned a catch. Hendrick was bowled by the next delivery and Underwood had to stop a hat-trick. Sobers bowled the final over to Willis with four wanted. The second ball was hit straight back over the bowler for two; the next steered to third man for two more and England were home.

Few would have given much for England's chance at lunch when West Indies were 122 for three from 32 overs. Kanhai, in sparkling form, had dominated half century partnerships with Foster and Lloyd and the tall left-hander was still there to lead a final assault. Once Willis had knocked out his off-stump the bowlers held sway. Old's feat in accounting for Sobers and Julien in three balls tilted the game England"s way.

When a brilliant piece of stumping by Taylor accounted for Kallicharran off Underwood, who yorked Boyce later in the same over, five formidable players had fallen for 27 runs. Attendance: 13,500.

© John Wisden & Co