Fifth Test Match

West Indies v Australia

Abandoned as a draw after a crowd disturbance had halted play late on the scheduled final day with one West Indian wicket standing and 6.2 of the mandatory final twenty overs remaining.

Even though the West Indies Board representatives, after lengthy discussions with officials of both teams, decided to extend the match into a sixth day to make up the time lost, the umpires were neither consulted nor informed about the decision.

In the event, one, Gosein, who stood in all five Tests, had to be summoned from his hotel just before play was scheduled to be resumed, and he was adamant that there was no provision in the laws or the playing conditions for the match to be extended. He refused to continue, as did the stand-by umpire, John Gayle - on the same grounds - so the match was left abandoned.

The match was shrouded in controversy from the start. The Australians objected to one of the umpires originally chosen: Douglas Sang Hue, who had no-balled Yardley for throwing in the preceding match against Jamaica. The West Indies Board, while stating their faith in Sang Hue, acquiesced and Wesley Malcolm stood instead.

It was ironic that it was a decision by Malcolm, who ruled Holder caught behind the wicket, that triggered the troubles. At the time, West Indies were putting up a spirited fight to save a match which they appeared to have conclusively lost earlier in the day.

Holder lingered at the crease before walking towards the pavilion, apparently dissatisfied with the decision. In minutes, the crowd was hurling bottles, stones, and other debris on to the ground and the police found it impossible to quell the disturbance or clear the ground so that play could be resumed. So a series bedevilled by rancour and controversy ended unhappily.

It was a frustrating experience for Australia, who held the upper hand throughout the match. Rain delayed the start by an hour and a quarter, and a maiden Test century by Toohey allowed Australia to recover from the loss of two early wickets and end the first day 186 for three. Toohey, whose partnership of 133 with Yallop emphasised the easy-paced nature of the pitch, batted five and a quarter hours all told and hit ten 4s.

He also provided Holder with his 100th Test wicket threequarters of an hour into the second day when he snicked a catch to second slip. Holder became the seventh West Indian bowler to reach the landmark.

There was no other innings to compare with Toohey's and Australia, yet again, fell away badly towards the end, Jumadeen claiming the last four wickets off 28 balls for only 8 runs.

In three-quarters of an hour before bad light halted play, West Indies were subjected to a fiery spell from Thomson and lost both openers for 28. It was the medium-paced Laughlin, opening the bowling in the absence of the injured Clark and Callen, who caused the problems on the third morning, adding Murray, Kallicharran, and Foster to his bag as West Indies slumped to 63 for five. He was aided in each case by alert catching.

In such a daunting position, the West Indies lower order showed resilience in helping Gomes rebuild the innings. He shared stands of 96 with Shivnarine, 46 with Phillip, and 57 with Holder, and himself ended the day 115 not out with West Indies 276 for eight, only 67 in arrears.

Gomes, whose 115 took five and a half hours and included eleven 4s, played on to Thomson's fourth ball of the fourth morning, and nor did Holder add to his overnight score.

The pressure was now on Australia to score quickly enough to give their bowlers ample time to press for victory. Wood and Toohey fulfilled their purposes admirably, adding 180 in three hours for the second wicket after Wood and Ogilvie had provided a solid start of 65. Each batsman was so dominant that each appeared certain to pass his century. Neither did, both falling in the nineties to Jumadeen.

Wood was well caught at extra cover, having batted four hours twenty minutes. Toohey needed only three to become the first Australian to score centuries in each innings of a Test in the West Indies when he was beaten by the flight and stumped. In three hours he hit one six and eight 4s. Soon afterwards Simpson declared, challenging West Indies to get 369 on the final day.

Their hopes flickered only briefly while Williams and Bacchus put together 42 in three-quarters of an hour. However, they lost four wickets by lunch and a fifth soon afterwards, leaving them with an uphill fight to stave off defeat.

Their captain, Kallicharran, led the way with a purposeful display, receiving crucial support from Shivnarine, who helped him add 91, and Phillip, who outlasted him after he was out with 9.5 overs remaining. Kallicharran's innings was divided into two parts. He was so intent on defence at first that he took two and a half hours to reach his first 50. His second 50 occupied only fifty-six minutes.

However, when his chanceless 126 was ended and umpire Malcolm made his fateful decision against Holder, Australia were on the verge of victory. They were denied a chance of clinching it by the unfortunate crowd intervention.

© John Wisden & Co