Fourth Test Match

WEST INDIES v INDIA 1982-83

At Bridgetown, April 15, 16, 17, 19, 20. West Indies won by ten wickets, their fourth victory in five Tests against India at the ground, the other being drawn. On a fast, true pitch, with encouraging bounce for their fast bowlers, they encountered defiant opposition from only one Indian batsman, the magnificent Amarnath. While his team-mates capitulated to a diet of short-pitched bowling, which later brought complaints of intimidation from the Indian manager and captain, Amarnath, batting for a combined total of six and a half hours, met the challenge with courage, hooking with certainty, despite a blow on the mouth which caused his temporary retirement in the second innings.

Unseasonal rain delayed the start until half an hour before lunch on the first day and then another torrential downpour during the interval prevented any further play. By then, India had been sent in and were 13 for the loss of their opening batsmen. Amarnath led a recovery on the second day, hooking Roberts, Holding and Garner for 6s in the first session, but after he and Kapil Dev fell to successive deliveries from Marshall, India's 172 for four became 209 all out.

Haynes, at pains to provide the sheet anchor for the West Indian reply, put on 98 for the first wicket with Greenidge and 122 for the second with Richards. West Indies went into the lead with only one wicket down, but the spinners then dismissed Richards, Gomes and Haynes - whose 92 took him six and a quarter hours - in the space of 32 runs. Had Venkataraghavan not dropped Logie at slip off Shastri - a gentle, lobbed catch off the glove - when the batsman was 7, India might have limited the eventual West Indian advantage. As it was, the little Trinidadian right-hander gradually overcame his early nerves, reached 72 by the end of the second day and went on to his maiden Test century with growing confidence. His 130, ended as he was forcing the pace, included two 6s and twelve 4s. Lloyd reached his third consecutive half-century and India, 277 behind, needed to bat through the final day and a half to save the match.

They had done so in the second Test but now the pitch remained hard and fast and only Amarnath, his innings divided into two parts by his injury, caused when he missed a hook off Marshall, and Gaekwad delayed the West Indian victory. An innings defeat was just avoided and a no-ball from the wicket-keeper, Kirmani, was the run which put the home team two ahead in the series. Roberts, who took eight wickets in the match, passed Wes Hall's record of 192 wickets taken by a West Indian fast bowler.

© John Wisden & Co