Second Cornhill Test


Toss: West Indies.

Dilley, with six boundaries in his 28, and Jarvis added 53 for England's last wicket to keep the game going until after lunch on the fifth day. Later, the England manager M. J. Stewart, found some solace in England's last-day batting, suggesting that on a good pitch, and with the sun shining, West Indies' bowlers had not looked unbeatable. This was self-deluding. Once Lamb had reached his first Test hundred since 1984, the West Indians did little more than stroll through the closing stages.

Throughout the match, batting was easier while the sun shone. When it went behind the clouds, the ball swung and seamed, tipping the balance firmly in the bowlers' favour. When it did shine for any length of time, as on the Saturday, West Indies had the good fortune to be batting; and it was on the Saturday, in their second innings, that their resplendent batting took the match beyond England's reach. Greenidge was the linchpin, adding 83 with Richardson and 83 with Richards. The off-driven four off Small with which he reached his fifteenth Test hundred was imperious. It was his fourteenth boundary, and he batted in all for four hours, facing 192 balls; when 49, he became the fifth West Indian to score 6,000 runs in Tests. Richards's 81--ball 72 contained an early six off Emburey and twelve fours--four of them stuck successively off Small to pass 50. Finally, Logie and Dujon batted stylishly for their second century partnership of the match. Their 130 together on the opening day had rescued West Indies from a position at lunch of 66 for five.

It was the start England needed after the troubled events that followed Trent Bridge. Gatting, the victim of unsavoury allegations in the press, had been replaced as captain by Emburey and as a batsman by Moxon. Small came in for Defreitas, but on the third afternoon he limped off the field and virtually out of the series with a recurrence of the

thigh strain that had prevented him from playing at Nottingham. West Indies were unchanged, and when Richards won the toss, he choose, after long deliberation, to bat on a pitch well shorn of grass. The sun was still shining then; when Haynes was caught by Moxen, throwing himself forward at short leg, the cloud covered it. Dilley was swinging the ball away on a remorseless line and also obtaining lift. His next three wickets came from catches behind the bat, and at lunch, having bowled throughout the morning, he had figures of 13-4-35-4. He would have taken five had Pringle at first slip caught Logie when he was 10.

This was a decisive miss, for Logie took the attack excitingly to the bowlers, reaching his half-century with his twelfth four. Dujon's fifty was more classically compiled. On the point of tea, Emburey squeezed the ball between his defensive bat and pad, and soon afterwards clung to Logie's square slash at point. Gower rose gracefully and twisted back behind square leg to catch Ambrose, but Walsh and Patterson held on for twenty minutes and saw the score past 200. England only had 6.5 overs of batting before bad light stopped play with thirteen remaining, and in that time they lost Broad, beaten by Marshall's pace and a low bounce. He left looking unhappy, and his expression of disappointment, caught by the television camera, was to cost him his test place.

The second day, again overcast, belonged to Marshall, who finished with six for 32, the best return by a West Indian at Lord's. He was fast, varied his line and pace, moved the ball late, and was often unplayable as he took five of England's last seven wickets. Gower batted in the Logie mode either side of lunch and the stoppage that preceded it, overtook Gooch, who was 100 minutes in the 30s, and ultimately perished when an attempted pull from outside off stump became a lob towards square leg. For England, it was the beginning of the end. Bad light interrupted West Indies' second innings three times before the close, but the next day, Saturday, they set out a feast of batting delights. Any joy England had on Monday morning at taking their last five wickets in eleven overs was tempered by the knowledge that, 441 runs behind, they had to bat for 172 overs to save the match. Dujon reached his second fifty, but the collapse that followed his dismissal left Logie 5 runs short of a well merited century, having faced 124 balls, hit twelve boundaries and provided great entertainment.

But for Lamb, on his 34th birthday, and an hour lost to bad light and drizzle, the match would have been over that day - a long, slow one, with the West Indies' over - rate averaging 11.21 and play continuing until 7.40p.m. Lamb's innings was a testimony to his character and technique. His first 39 runs came somewhat adventurously from 39 balls, but with confidence he settled into the form which had been eluding him at Test level. Moxen stayed with him for almost two hours, Downton for an hour and a quarter, and Emburey in 32 balls found the boundary six times before a full toss hit first his thumb and then his stumps. Lamb 99 overnight, needed 25 minutes (23 balls) next morning to reach 100, and when Hooper brought his innings to a close with thrilling pick-up and throw on the run, he had batted for 338 minutes, faced 213 balls, and hit fifteen fours. Marshall, who began Enlgand's decline, finished with ten wickets for the third time in Test.

For the first time in England, the match receipts exceeded £1 million, being £1,031,262.50 from an attendance of 77,923.

© John Wisden & Co