Second Test Match


Up to the start of England's second innings, the second Test developed along similar lines to the first, except that at Queen's Park Oval Richards won the toss and put England in to bat. Both sides made two changes, Walsh and Payne replacing the injured Holding and Dujon for West Indies, and Slack and Emburey coming in for Robinson, who was unwell, and Smith for England. Payne and Slack won their first Test caps.

The pitch had nothing like the pace of Kingston, but none the less England were bowled out for 176 in 44.4 overs, of which 106 came from Gower and Lamb for the fourth wicket. After Gooch (fourth ball) and Slack had fallen to Marshall in his first three overs, Gower and Lamb scored their runs at a rate of 7 an over, punishing Patterson and Walsh heavily. Patterson, lacking rhythm and over-stepping regularly, was a shadow of the bowler who had begun so auspiciously in Kingston. In the latter stages of the partnership, however, England encountered, in the shape of a shower, the first of the ill luck that was to dog them on three of the first four days. Considered at first too light to stop play, it freshened a slow pitch enough for Garner to have Gower lbw with a ball, delivered over the wicket, which cut back from about off stump. Shortly there was a twenty-minute interruption: but the important breakthrough had been made. When play resumed, the remaining six wickets crashed in 90 minutes. Gower, hooking and pulling with rediscovered certainty, and Lamb both hit eleven 4s; but no other batsman reached double figures.

An ill-conceived spell by Botham, who gave away 39 in five overs with the new ball in the hope of inducing Greenidge or Haynes to hook a catch to one of two long-legs, enabled West Indies to reach 67 for one in 70 minutes by the close. But though Haynes and Richardson were to strengthen West Indies' advantage with a stand of 150, England, in the person of Ellison, were again notably unlucky. In a 90-minute spell, his out-swing beat the bat eight times, Haynes in one over playing and missing at three successive balls. Nevertheless, with Richardson producing many splendid off-side strokes, the score rose steadily; rapidly when Botham, replacing Ellison, gave away 26 in four erratic overs. Richardson, hammering Thomas on the leg side, reached a fluent hundred in 34 overs.

Only at 198 did Gower belatedly pair Edmonds with Emburey - and almost instantly West Indies lost their impetus. When Richardson (175 minutes, one 6, nineteen 4s) was caught at the wicket off a mistimed sweep, he became the first of seven batsmen to fall to the spinners in a combined spell of 45 uninterrupted overs. Haynes was brought to a standstill, and only Richards, whose 34 came off twenty balls with two 6s and four 4s, briefly jeopardised the England strategy. However, when England took the new ball soon after Garner's dismissal, Marshall found support from Walsh and Patterson as he took his score to 62 not out in two hours and West Indies to a lead of 223.

England, starting their second innings 50 minutes before lunch on the third day, could not have made a worse start. Slack, tardily sent back by Gooch, was run out without scoring. Walsh broke a second-wicket stand of 79 when Gower missed one of the increasing number of shooters, and 40 minutes later he ended Gooch's three-hour innings with a late in-swinger as the batsman played no stroke. At 168 for three at the close, England's slim chance of escape rested on Willey, Lamb and Botham following the rest day. But within an hour all three were out, Payne redeeming an untidy match behind the stumps with a diving catch in front of slip to extend Botham's unsuccessful run. Shooters were by then a common occurrence, and England were in danger of defeat by an innings when Emburey, glancing Walsh to backward short-leg, was eighth out at 214.

However, Richards's decision to take a new ball brought an unexpected development. Being harder than the old one, its bounce was higher and more consistent, and the threat of the shooter disappeared. Garner dismissed Edmonds, but for two hours the last pair, Ellison and Thomas, defied the four fast bowlers with ease. Relying more on the forward stroke than their seniors, they doggedly added 72 and were looking good for more when Ellison was adjudged lbw.

West Indies, needing 93, made through Greenidge a strong effort to score them in the 90 minutes to close of play. In the event, with England pairing the spinners after six overs and Greenidge caught at extra-cover, they were 17 short. Victory was a formality when the fifth day dawned bright and clear; but by dismissing Richardson and Gomes, Emburey confirmed what a hard task West Indies might have faced had their target been 200.

The game was played against a background of demonstrations from a small group of anti-apartheid protesters, but there was no trouble inside the ground and, without being large, the gates were satisfactory. Marshall, who completed 200 wickets in his 42nd Test when he dismissed Downton, won the match award.

© John Wisden & Co