At Sydney, January 19. Australia won on faster scoring-rate when rain ended the game, just before ten o'clock at night, in the 44th over of Australia's innings when they needed another 22 to win from 41 balls. With Australia having to win the match to reach the finals of the competition, this provided a frantic climax for a record crowd for a night match at Sydney. West Indies, without Lloyd who had flu, were put in and saved from a low score by Richards and later Marshall. Australia, chasing 190, lost an early wicket before Dyson and Darling put on 51. Roberts, bowling splendidly, then removed Darling and Chappell for his sixth duck in twelve innings. Australia, with five wickets standing, needed 47 from the last ten overs. The 42nd and 43rd overs, bowled by Holding and Garner respectively, produced 22 runs, and after one ball of the 44th it began to rain heavily. Realising they were ahead of the required rate, for the first time in their innings, the Australian batsmen raced for the pavilion and so joined West Indies in the finals, an achievement which was expected to make a difference of anything up to £500,000 to the Australian Cricket Board. A series of final matches between West Indies and Pakistan would have been much less of a money-spinner from the one now in prospect between Australia and West Indies.
Man of the Match: A. M. E. Roberts. Attendance: 52,053.
© John Wisden & Co