First Test Match

West Indies v Australia

At Port-of-Spain, March 3, 4, 5. West Indies won by an innings and 106 runs. The luck ran against Australia from the start and they suffered a crushing defeat inside three days for West Indies to record their first victory over Australia at the ground.

The foundations of the win were laid on the first day when West Indies' fast bowlers exploited helpful conditions to rout the opposition for 90.

Rain on the day before and on the morning of the match not only delayed the start until five minutes before lunch but also affected preparation of the pitch. Two deliveries in the only over possible before the interval, bowled by Roberts, behaved so unpredictably as to sow seeds of suspicion in the minds of the Australians, who had been sent in to bat.

Croft effected the early breakthrough, dismissing Wood, Yallop, and Serjeant for nine runs in his first eight overs.

For a brief period Toohey appeared at ease, but he was struck on the face hooking at Roberts when 15 and had to be taken from the field to have stitches inserted in the wound. When he returned later, he had his thumb fractured by a ball from the same bowler, an injury which prevented his taking any further part in the match or in the following two Tests.

The only resistance was provided by Cosier who attacked boldly, hitting seven boundaries through ultra-attacking fields before he was last out for 46. Australia' 90 was the lowest Test score on the ground; nine of their batsmen contributed 10 runs between them.

West Indies were left slightly more than an hour's batting before the end of the day and, in that time, their openers unleashed such a flurry of shots that they scored 79 off only fourteen overs.

On his Test début, Haynes captivated a crowd of 25,000 by taking 20 off an over from Thomson, including a hook for 6, and by pulling Higgs for another 6 in the last over of the day. In that period, he also hit six 4s and Greenidge five.

On the following morning the pace was less hectic as the Australians fought to keep in the game. Haynes added only eight, and Richards and Greenidge went relatively cheaply, Thomson troubling all the batsmen with his deep breakbacks.

However, the left-handers, Kallicharran and Lloyd, managed to shake free and their fourth-wicket partnership of 170 at better than a run a minute ensured West Indies a formidable lead. Kallicharran's ninth Test century was his fourth on the ground and was made without blemish. It lasted four hours twenty minutes and included seventeen 4s.

Lloyd clubbed one 6 and ten 4s before playing on to Thomson, although the Australians were convinced he should have been given out, caught behind off the glove to Clark, when 26.

The latter half of the West Indian innings subsided rapidly, but Australia still faced a deficit of 315 when they batted a second time.

On a pitch by now slow but true, they made a promising start. Wood and Serjeant put on 59 for the first wicket before both were l.b.w., and then the left-handed Yallop batted so diligently that Australia went to tea 157 for three and a reasonable total appeared likely.

Afterwards Yallop opened out with a series of confident drives, especially against Croft, but attempting another had his middle stump uprooted by Roberts. That proved to be the end of the opposition. Australia's last six wickets fell for 15 runs off 26 deliveries; four to Roberts, who finished with five for 56, and two to Parry, the new off-spinner. The paid attendances were 21,703 (first day), 24,211 (second), and 16,233 (third).

© John Wisden & Co