Third Test Match


Toss: England. Test debuts: England - R.O.Butcher, R.D.Jackman.

Though put in on a pitch which was at its liveliest on the first morning, West Indies dominated a match tragically marred by the death, after play on the second evening, of Ken Barrington, assistant-manager and coach of the England team.

England made four changes from the side which lost in Trinidad, Gatting, Butcher, Bairstow and Jackman coming in for Rose, who had returned home, Miller, Downton and Old. Jackman, in his first Test, took two of the four wickets to fall in the first 21 overs. A splendid catch at second slip by Botham off Dilley removed Richards for 0, but the England bowlers were unable to take full advantage of the help given them in the first hour, and in a decreasing amount until lunch, and West Indies rebuilt through a long partnership between the left-handers, Lloyd and Gomes, who added 154 in three and threequarter hours. Lloyd made scarcely a mistake in one of his best Test innings, but Gomes survived several chances and was lucky when 7 to be bowled by Dilley with one of only two no-balls called during the day.

In the last half-hour of the first day England took the wickets of Lloyd, Gomes and Murray, and in less than fifty minutes next morning finished off the innings, for 265. But in three overs their own score stood at 11 for two and, though there was temporary resistance from the middle order, the innings never recovered against the four fast bowlers, of whom Holding was at his fastest.

With a first innings lead of 143, the loss of Greenidge before the end of the second day scarcely troubled West Indies, and they batted comfortably if cautiously through the third day, which England played with heavy hearts after Ken Barrington's death in the night. The two teams, officials and a capacity crowd of 15,000 stood in silence in his memory before play began.

In the circumstances England did not do badly to limit the scoring on the third day to 245 off 79 overs. However, Richards, playing with unusual care, had reached 100 before the end, and after the rest day he and Lloyd took their sixth-wicket stand to 153, making the last 114 in 95 minutes. Lloyd declared at lunch, 522 runs ahead, and when, for the second time in the match, Holding disposed of Boycott in his first over, this time also bowling Gatting next ball, it seemed unlikely that England would take the match into the last day. Boycott was out twice in ten balls in this match, Gatting twice in three balls and Bairstow was out second ball in each innings.

However, a stand of 120 between Gooch and Gower, which featured much good batting, saved England's face. Dominated at first by Gower, the partnership was being taken over by Gooch when it ended after two and a half hours. Gooch had made 88 out of a score of 166 for five at the end of the day and next morning soon reached his second Test hundred after batting four hours twenty minutes. He survived a hard chance in the gully when 71 but otherwise made few mistakes against the fast bowlers, who worked their way through the rest of the batting. When he was eighth out to a brilliant low catch in the gully by Garner from a well-middled stroke, Emburey and Jackman effected a ninth-wicket stand which lasted nearly an hour and carried the match over until after lunch.

© John Wisden & Co