Third Test Match


At Adelaide, January 30, 31, February 1, 2, 3. West Indies won by five wickets. This was a superb game of cricket, played a few days after Mr Lynton Taylor, Managing Director of the Packer company which markets Australian cricket, had said that he doubted whether Test cricket could be saved. Australia brought in Pascoe for Alderman; Murray was unfit to keep wicket for West Indies, Dujon, though also injured, taking the gloves. Bacchus and Roberts, both missing from the West Indian team for the second Test, also played.

After being put in on a slightly green pitch, Australia lost their first four wickets for 17. Chappell, however, chose this moment to play his best innings for several weeks, and Australia were 204 for six at the end of the first day. Marsh, making his 80th Test appearance for Australia and so passing Harvey as his country's most-capped player, also played well before being hit on the side of his helmet by Croft and having to retire temporarily. He was the first of several injuries suffered by Australia in the game. Roberts and Holding quickly finished off the Australian innings on the second morning.

Careless strokes caused the loss of West Indies' first four wickets for 92 before Lloyd and the ever-improving Gomes steadied the innings. On the third day Gomes received invaluable help from Dujon, who once again made batting seem easy in reaching 51, and Roberts, with whom he added 82 for the eighth wicket as West Indies progressed to a lead of 151.

Australia made another bad start, losing Wood and Dyson for 35 before Laird and Border stayed together for almost four hours in a determined stand of 166 to give Australia a chance of saving the match. Hughes and Marsh carried on the good work, and at the close of the fourth day Australia, at 341 for four, were 190 ahead. They needed only a draw to win the series and the match looked almost safe. Next morning, though, their last six wickets fell for 24 runs, Garner taking four for 5 in nine overs and Holding claiming the other two. West Indies were thus left to score 236 to win in four and a half hours.

Following the early loss of Haynes, another excellent stand between Richards and Greenidge looked like taking them to an unhurried victory. Both were then out within 7 runs of each other and serious doubts appeared in the West Indians' batting. Fortunately for them a series of important catches were dropped, the most vital of them when Lloyd, on 18, was put down behind the wicket by Marsh, diving to his left, off Thomson. In the closing stages Bacchus was also dropped, and Lloyd twice more. The winning runs came with seventeen balls to spare, leaving Lloyd 77 not out after what was expected to be his last Test innings in Australia. The three West Indian fast bowlers, Holding, Garner and Croft, chaired him off the field.

Attendance: 107,769.

© John Wisden & Co