Fifth Test Match


At New Delhi, January 24, 25, 27, 28, 29. Drawn. Rain, which washed out over four and a half hours play on the fourth day and delayed the start on the fifth by three hours, came to West Indies' rescue. When it intervened, West Indies, following on 394 runs behind, were 67 without loss. With the sun remaining hidden when they resumed, the drenched pitch was somnolent and West Indies saved the match quite comfortably.

Batting for the first two days and threequarters of an hour on the third, India declared at 566 for eight, their highest total against any country. Its accumulation made tedious watching, except when Kapil Dev was scoring his maiden Test century. Gavaskar took the best part of five hours putting together his nineteenth and Vengsarkar, trying to redeem himself after a pair in the previous Test, was even more laborious. West Indies were handicapped by Clarke's inability to bowl more than eight overs on the opening day because of a strained back, and made life more difficult for themselves by dropping catches. All three Indian century-makers were let off before they had made 30.

Then, on an utterly docile pitch, West Indies were bowled out in just over three hours for a paltry 172, of which 39 were put on for the last two wickets. Only Gomes, who made 40, played with any character. The Indian pace bowlers were the main wicket-takers. Ghavri took all his three with bumpers, but Kapil Dev struck with deliveries of fuller length.

In the second innings, Bacchus made Ghavri pay for the indignities he had caused West Indies in the first. He hooked and cut him furiously when he pitched short to make 61, an innings which not only proved his class as a stroke-maker but showed that he was learning from experience. He was dismissed by one of the few deliveries that lifted from the rain-affected pitch. Kallicharran, correct and watchful, scored an unbeaten 45 and ensured that West Indies came to no further harm after Gomes was third out at 140.

© John Wisden & Co