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Toss: England. Test debut: England - D.C.Townsend.
Winning the toss for the sixth time in succession, Wyatt, as in the opening Test, gave his opponents first innings; but on this occasion the gamble failed, West Indies winning by 217 runs. The match ended in dramatic circumstances, England's final stand being broken by the last ball but one of the game. A great all-round display by Constantine who, in the match, scored 121 runs and took five wickets for 52, played no small part in the victory. England were undoubtedly handicapped by the inability of Farnes, owing to a strained neck muscle, to turn out; having regard to the success achieved by the West Indies pace bowlers, the absence of the Essex man probably represented a greater loss than most people realised.
Wyatt's venture may have been engendered by the belief that the wicket would be fiery, but events proved the reverse to be the case. Yet the West Indies made none too promising a start, two men being dismissed for 38. Headley and Sealey added 64, but G. C. Grant fell at 115, and not until Constantine came in were the bowlers mastered. Constantine's daring methods thrilled the crowd of 11,000--a record attendance for a match in the West Indies. As usual, Constantine did not hesitate to take risks, and he timed the ball perfectly in vigorous drives, pulls and hits to leg. Sealey played polished cricket, scoring readily all round, and, with thirteen fours as his chief figures, he helped Constantine to put on 118. He made no mistake during nearly three hours at the crease. Next day, Constantine obtained all 18 runs added to the overnight 284 for nine wickets. Wyatt, who kept an excellent length, returned the best bowling figures for England. When England went in, Constantine, Martindale and Hylton, the fast bowlers, disposed of half the side for 23. Fine fielding contributed to the collapse, Wyatt, Hammond and Ames being out to capital catches by R. S. Grant close in on the leg-side. Hendren and Iddon effected an improvement by putting on 71 and Iddon, using his feet well to bring off powerful drives, found another able partner in Holmes, who joined in a seventh stand of 74. After Iddon's departure, Holmes, sound in defence yet neglecting few scoring opportunities, added 62 with Farrimond and in the end England stood only 44 runs behind. Holmes's innings at a crisis deserved the highest praise.
In their second innings the West Indies were scarcely so enterprising as on the opening day. Headley batted quietly for nearly three hours and three-quarters, and Constantine and R. S. Grant were the only players who adopted aggressive tactics. Still, the methods paid, and, declaring at lunch on the fourth day, West Indies set their opponents 325 to get. Wyatt followed the amazing and inexplicable course of almost completely reversing his batting order. The efforts of the early men met with such little success that by tea five were out for 75. England's hopes of saving the game virtually disappeared when Wyatt left without addition and Hendren at 79 was easily run out. Ames and Iddon gave no trouble and though Leyland and Holmes, the past pair, defended stubbornly for a while, the innings and the match ended almost on the stroke of time.