Second Test Match


At Bombay, December 11, 12, 13, 15, 16. Drawn. But for the loss through rain of 613 minutes (156 overs) on the first three days, the second being totally blank, West Indies would surely have won. Although they led by only 56 runs on the first innings, they dismissed India in the second for just 173, leaving them needing 118 for victory. However, they had only eleven overs in which to force home their advantage in the series and gave up the attempt after two overs.

West Indies made two changes to the side that won the First Test. Harper had incurred a long-term injury in the previous match and was replaced by the team's other off-spinner, Butts, while to reinforce the batting, which had looked vulnerable at Delhi, they included the uncapped Hooper. That meant leaving out Benjamin and weakening the pace attack. India's batting proved no more reliable, despite the inclusion of Amarnath and Azharuddin, who missed the First Test through indisposition. Winning the toss again, they batted unevenly, and although West Indies did not bowl particularly well, they scored no more than 281. Of the first 85, Srikkanth made 71 in his usual breezy fashion, hitting eleven fours and a six. Vengsarkar batted doggedly for 51 in 140 minutes, but it took the tail to give the total a semblance of respectability. Early in the innings, only Walsh of the three fast bowlers kept a good line, and Butts justified his inclusion by taking the crucial wickets of Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev in mid-innings.

West Indies, beginning their reply with fifteen overs left on the third day, ran into trouble on the fourth. The pitch, dry and brown at the start, was now affording some spin and West Indies were 146 for four when Logie was run out. With the previous ball, Maninder Singh had bowled Richards, who was trying to overpower the bowling without being on terms with his timing. He succumbed to a beautiful delivery which pitched middle and leg and hit his off stump. The faltering innings was sustained by Richardson who, without being quite at ease, made a staunch 89 spread over 229 minutes and 186 balls. India paid dearly for Amarnath's failure to take a difficult chance at long leg which Richardson offered when 20.

West Indies were still behind when their specialist batsmen were dismissed, but the tail was defiant. During a last-wicket stand between Butts and Patterson, Chetan Sharma, using the second new ball, bowled frequent bumpers at Patterson, a lack of tact India were to regret when they began their second innings early on the final day. West Indies retaliated in full measure and the Indians proved vulnerable. Srikkanth, reveling in the short stuff, made 65 from 78 balls, hitting ten fours, but thereafter only Vengsarkar and Ayub achieved double figures. Their partnership, formed at 132 for seven and lasting 64 minutes, saved India from a crisis caused by Patterson, who took four of his five wickets in a spell of eleven overs between lunch and tea.

Close of play: First day, India 99-3 (D. B. Vengsarkar 7*, M. Azharuddin 6*); Second day, No play; Third day, West Indies 49-0 (C. G. Greenidge 11*, D. L. Haynes 36*); Fourth day, West Indies 327-9 (C. G. Butts 17*, B. P. Patterson 12*).

© John Wisden & Co