Third Test Match

India v New Zealand

At Madras, November 26, 27, 28, 30, December 1, 2. India won by 216 runs. This Test was extended to a sixth day as the series was still open. The additional day would scarcely have been needed, however, had rain not lopped off more than eleven hours' play during the first four days. Not a ball was bowled on the first day.

Although it meant batting last on an underprepared pitch, New Zealand's loss of the toss for the third time in the series need not have been an outright handicap, for leaks in the covers had left the pitch damp and gave ample encouragement to seam bowlers. New Zealand, in fact, made a bad error in not including a third seam bowler.

India lost two men, including Gavaskar, to Cairns in his first two overs. But to New Zealand's misfortune, Hadlee was taken ill after delivering only two overs and India struggled out of their difficulties. Cairns went on to claim five wickets in the innings.

India were 162 for four when a fierce thunderstorm ended the day's play. They would have been in a worse plight if Viswanath had been held in the slips when he was 55. The next day, India went on to make 298 and of the 136 added, 74 were contributed by an eighth wicket partnership between Kirmani and Venkataraghavan.

Through further intrusions by the weather, New Zealand's reply was spread over three days and ended during the morning of the penultimate day. But it amounted to no more than 140 runs.

Turner batted skilfully for two and a half hours, but after he was third out at 91, Bedi and Chandrasekhar proved irresistible.

Burgess, top-scorer with 40, put on 54 for the third wicket with Turner but shortly after the latter's dismissal, he himself was bowled by a vicious ball from Bedi. It rose from a length, took him on the glove as he tried to take his bat away and went on to his stumps via his pad.

But for a violent 21, off only 22 balls, by Hadlee, New Zealand would have incurred an even bigger deficit than 158.

India batted for the rest of the fifth day and scored 201 for five for an aggregate lead of 359, a figure which exceeded by far the totals registered by either side in this match. India's batsmen played without haste until the last half hour. There was an unsavoury incident in the morning when an appeal for hit wicket against Gaekwad was turned down from square-leg by umpire Mohammad Ghouse. The heated argument was ended by Hadlee, the bowler, hurling a bail at the umpire.

Bedi declared overnight and on a dusty, scarred pitch, New Zealand could offer little resistance to Bedi and Chandrasekhar. The New Zealanders might have shown displeasure with the umpiring in the field on the previous day but now, if they felt they were out, they never waited for the umpire's verdict.

© John Wisden & Co