First Test match

England v West Indies 1933

Played at LORD'S Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, June 24, 26, 27. England won by an innings and 27 runs. Although nearly the whole of the first day was cut to waste through rain, England, if scoring at no great pace later on, won the opening Test match by four o'clock on Tuesday afternoon in an innings with 27 runs to spare. The West Indies cricketers indeed, had little in the match upon which to congratulate themselves. Certainly their bowlers kept a powerful England batting side fighting hard for runs and although fault could be found at times, the fielding was on the whole fairly good, but the batting, apart from that of Grant in each innings and Headley at the second attempt, proved singularly disappointing and lacking in real class. One might express the opinion that the occasion was too much for the tourists. This was forcibly exemplified by a comparison between the two elevens when they were on the field. Frankly, the West Indies did not look a great side, whereas England seemed a real team, efficient in most that they did not strikingly superior as a combination. Picked, for the most part, on form, some injustice seemed to have been done Macaulay when his name was not among those originally chosen, but with Clark of Northamptonshire unable to play, Macaulay, who had been doing great work for Yorkshire, got his place for England. Almost to the last the West Indies hoped to enjoy the assistance of Constantine, but the Nelson Club refused to release him, and Francis, professional to the Radcliffe Club in the Bolton League, and who came to England with the West Indies teams of 1923 and 1928, and who went to Australia with them in 1930-31, was brought in to strengthen the attack. At one time it was feared that Headley would not be able to play, but he turned out, although on the Monday his ankle caused him trouble and undoubtedly affected his capabilities when he went in to bat. Saturday's cricket lasted in two short spells for forty-five minutes, during which time Walters and Sutcliffe scored 43 together, but happily no further interruptions occurred after the Sunday, the weather on the last day being beautifully fine.

England, batting altogether for five and a half hours, were dismissed for 296 - in the circumstances not a very big total, but, as it happened, sufficient for the purpose. Walters, in his first Test match scored 51 and Ames made 83, but no prolonged or really profitable stand took place. It would not be true to say that the batting of the Englishmen generally was poor, but five men were dismissed after scoring between twenty and thirty. One might have thought that a quicker pace than 54 runs an hour could have been accomplished. Walters played very stylishly, and actually no better batting was seen than when he and Hammond were together, strokes which demanded flexibility of wrist being beautifully executed by both of them. Fully justifying his choice, Walters met the bowling confidently and brought off a variety of strokes. He was fourth out at 106, and when a lunch time six wickets were down for 156 the position for England was not very promising. Still, Ames and Allen added 39, Ames and Verity 48, while Macaulay helped in a stand of 31 for the last wicket. Ames played a strong, sound innings. Just before he reached forty he had one bad over from Achong and gave a chance of stumping, and it took him two hours and a half to make 83 out of 142. He hit hard in front of the wicket and had he not come off, England would have been in a bad way. Although he did not have the best record, Achong bowled uncommonly well, especially for an hour and three-quarters before lunch. He made the ball turn, but actually the pitch was never really difficult.

In an hour and three-quarters at the end of the day the West Indies, to all intents and purposes, lost the match, six wickets going down for 55 runs and on the last morning the remaining four men were dismissed in sixty-five minutes for another 42 runs. Grant and Achong added 36 for the seventh partnership, that being the only stand of any note. Grant played very well, but at last hit his wicket in trying a late cut. The West Indies, 199 behind, followed on, Roach being out off the first ball sent down, and thus failing to score in either innings. Headley and Barrow then added 56 in a little over an hour, while after Headley left Grant and Hoad put on 52, but nobody else did anything important until there came some big hitting at the end by Griffith. Headley's batting stood out by itself. He cut well, drove hard and hit to leg with certainty to complete his fifty out of 64. Grant played just as well in the second as in the first innings and Hoad, without disclosing many scoring strokes, defended stubbornly. The honours of the English bowling fell to Robins, Macaulay and Verity, but Allen enjoyed a share in this phase of the victory, while Ames, giving only four byes in the two innings, kept wicket in first-rate style. On the first day of the match the King visited Lord's and while the players were off the field, owing to the first shower, they were individually presented to him in the Committee Room. The attendances on all three days were excellent.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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