First Test Match

WEST INDIES v INDIA 1982-83

West Indies won by four wickets, in a frenzied finish with four balls of the final twenty overs remaining. At tea on the final day, after the first heavy rain in Kingston for two years had washed out the fourth day, a draw appeared inevitable as India, 168 for six, were 165 in the lead with four wickets standing. Roberts then dramatically changed the course of the match by dismissing Kirmani, Sandhu and Venkataraghavan in his first over on resumption and completing the rout with the last man, Maninder, in his fourth over.

Even then, West Indies needed to score 172 off what turned out to be 26 overs to secure the lead in the series. Haynes set them on their way with a delightful 34 off 21 deliveries, but it required batting of exceptional brilliance from Richards for the target to be reached. His appearance delayed to one position below his accustomed No. 3 because of a painful shoulder, Richards's first scoring stroke was the first of four huge 6s, and, off 35 deliveries, he attacked mercilessly for 61. When he was out at 156 for five, West Indies required 16 off two and a half overs and, with 6s from Logie - off his first ball - and Dujon, over square leg off Amarnath, West Indies won amidst scenes of great excitement.

The final session of the match had been in complete contrast to what had gone before, when batsmen on both sides struggled to assert themselves on an easy-paced pitch which offered bounce as its only encouragement to the bowlers.

Sent in after Lloyd had won the toss in his 50th Test as captain, India were floundering at 127 for seven midway through the first day to the four opposing fast bowlers. Then Yashpal, batting four and a half hours before he was last out for 63, and the turbanned and helmeted Sandhu revived the innings with an eighth-wicket partnership of 107, a record for India against West Indies.

West Indies also made hard work of their reply, only just managing to squeeze a first-innings lead of 3 runs. Greenidge laboured five hours, twenty minutes for his top score of 70 and no one else passed 30 against steady bowling. Kapil Dev, who ended the innings with three of the last four wickets after lunch on the second day, and the tall left-arm spinner, Shastri, each claimed four wickets.

The loss of the experienced Gavaskar, first ball, bowled leg stump by Holding, was an immediate second-innings setback for India, who ended the third day at 81 for three. Because of the rain, play was not resumed until an hour into the fifth and final day and, although three more Indian wickets fell by tea, this hardly seemed enough to cause their eventual defeat until Roberts, who bowled superbly in both innings, and Richards so dramatically altered the situation.

© John Wisden & Co