First Test Match


At Brisbane, November 18, 19, 20, 21. West Indies won by nine wickets. Toss: Australia. Border's decision to bat upon winning the toss was a gesture of confidence which misfired when Australia were bowled out in five hours on the first day, despite the early withdrawal through injury of Patterson. Having passed 50 with only Boon out, Australia were then put to flight on a good pitch by Ambrose, Marshall and Walsh. This set the pattern of a one-sided match.

West Indies relied on much the same side as had done duty for them in England earlier in the year. With Reid kept out by a back injury, Australia brought in his fellow-Western Australian, Matthews, to play his first Test for nearly two years. This was not a success, Matthews being very erratic. Only Veletta (182 minutes) put up any lasting resistance on the first day. Boon and Waugh were both out offering no stroke, and Richards, running back from slip, dismissed Dodemaide with a spectacular catch, his 100th in Tests in his 100th Test match.

By lunch on the second day Greenidge and Haynes, encountering a spate of wides and no-balls, had left Australia with virtually nothing to play for but a draw, and by tea on the third day, with the back of their second innings already broken, there was no chance of their managing even that. Only a partnership of 92 in 115 minutes between Border, who was batting with a cracked thumb and chipped index finger, both on his right hand, and Waugh may have saved Australia from a three-day defeat. Waugh batted for four hours ten minutes and hit nine fours before falling within 10 runs of his first Test hundred. The match was prolonged until 2.30 p.m. on the fourth day by a defiant, albeit academic, partnership of 58 for Australia's ninth wicket between McDermott and Matthews.

On the third afternoon Walsh completed an unusual hat-trick, the eighteenth in Test cricket. His first victim, Dodemaide, fell to the last ball of Australia's first innings. Forty-five and a half hours later, with the first two balls of his first spell in Australia's second innings, he had Veletta caught at slip and Wood leg-before. The last West Indian to take a hat-trick in a Test match had been Gibbs, against Australia at Adelaide in January 1961.

Man of the Match: C. E. L. Ambrose. Attendance: 26,361.

Close of play: First day, West Indies 39-0 (C. G. Greenidge 24*, D. L. Haynes 5*); Second day, West Indies 366-7 (M. D. Marshall 3*, C. E. L. Ambrose 2*); Third day: Australia 200-6 (I. A. Healy 25*, A. I. C. Dodemaide 0*).

© John Wisden & Co