(FIRST TEST MATCH.)

ENGLAND v. WEST INDIES.

The first Test match ended in a remarkable victory for England by four wickets. The ball, on a pitch affected by rain, nearly always mastered the bat. Sensations began at the start, for Wyatt, upon winning the toss, sent his opponents in to bat. Thanks to begin with to the fast bowling of Farnes, and later to the slow deliveries of Paine and Hollies, considerable success attended the venture. Farnes, making the ball lift awkwardly, dismissed four West Indies batsmen at a personal cost of 15 runs, and half the side were out for 31. Headley alone offered real resistance, and he gave two chances. Still, he defied the attack for two hours and lost his wicket when Christiani refused a run. England fared no better than their opponents and, although Hammond saved the side from complete collapse, half the wickets were down for 81 when the first day ended. The wicket being saturated by overnight rain, the game could not be resumed until after tea on Wednesday. Then two disasters swiftly overtook England, for in the first over Hylton disposed of Hammond and Holmes, and Wyatt, realising the treacherous state of the wicket, declared with his side still 21 runs in arrear. In the hope that conditions might improve, G. C. Grant altered his batting order, but Smith sent back R. S. Grant, Martindale and Achong with four runs on the board. Hylton and Christiani carefully played out time, raising the total to 33. More heavy rain fell during the night leaving the pitch waterlogged, and not till half past three could cricket be attempted next day. A strong breeze and bright sunshine then rendered the wicket difficult, and bowlers took command to such an extent that three batsmen left for the addition of 18 runs before tea. During the interval, G. C. Grant, in turn, adopted the bold policy of declaring, leaving England 73 runs to get for victory. That the conditions remained helpful to the attack was soon demonstrated, Martindale and Hylton making the ball rise in disconcerting fashion. With a view to knocking the bowlers off their length, Wyatt sent in Farnes and Smith to open the innings, but England met with a series of reverses, six wickets falling -- five of them to Martindale, who bowled at a tremendous pace -- for 49 runs. Fortunately for England, Hammond, at a critical period, revealed his best form. Content to wait for scoring opportunities, Hammond steadily gained something of a mastery over the bowling and, Wyatt defending stoutly, the end came without further success to bowlers. Hammond enjoyed the satisfaction of bringing off the winning hit -- a huge drive for 6 at the expense of Martindale. All the same, Martindale's five wickets cost him only 22 runs and his match record of eight for 61 constituted a noteworthy achievement.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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