Fourth Cornhill Test



Greenidge's second double-century of the series was not as spectacular as his first, at Lord's two Test matches earlier, but it was just as masterful and proved decisive in providing West Indies with a first-innings total that England failed to match in their two innings put together. On another disappointing Old Trafford wicket, offering a variable bounce and effectively exploited by the extra pace of the West Indies fast bowlers, England were forced to follow on for the second time in the series despite the achievement of Lamb in becoming the first England batsman since K. F. Barrington, against Pakistan in 1967, to score a century in three successive Tests.

In the expectation that the wicket would provide some spin, England recalled Pocock, at the age of 37 and after an absence of eight years, on the ground where he had made two of his three previous home Test appearances. Cowans was given his first chance of the series in place of Willis, who had withdrawn through illness, Ellison being left out after being selected in the original twelve for the first time. West Indies made one change, Marshall, bowing to medical advice over his broken thumb, being replaced by Davis, recruited from Glamorgan a fortnight earlier to provide cover when injuries threatened their fast-bowling strength. Davis was to play an important role with both bat and ball.

As in the one-day international on the same ground two months earlier, England enjoyed an outstanding first session in reducing West Indies, who won the toss, to 77 for four at lunch. Although overlooked for the new ball, despite his success with it at Leeds, Allott, on his home ground, provided the inspiration. Following Botham's early dismissal of Haynes, he removed Gomes, a casual Richards and Lloyd in the space of thirteen deliveries. It was to prove the only time England established any sort of command.

The match escaped Gower's control immediately on the resumption, when Botham returned for a wayward spell. He had bowled tightly in the morning session, but now his next eight overs cost 40 runs, mainly to Dujon, while Greenidge assumed the role of master builder. Not until the spinners, Pocock and Cook, were used in harness later in the day were England able to stem the flow of runs, by which time Greenidge was well on his way towards his eleventh Test century, and fifth against England, scored off 166 balls, and Dujon was in sight of his third. When, eventually, their partnership of 197 was broken by the new ball, Davis brightened a gloomy second day, which was interrupted by bad-light stoppages, by producing a career-best 77 out of a sixth-wicket partnership of 170 with Greenidge. At 437 he became the first of Pocock's well-deserved four victims, Greenidge being the third on the third day when edging a catch behind to end his 587-minute marathon which included 30 boundaries. Greenidge's was an outstanding display of concentration, in which he mixed sound defence with occasional bursts of aggression and was rarely beaten.

Facing a West Indian total of exactly 500, Fowler and Broad gave England an encouraging start before Fowler played on, trying to drive. Terry soon suffered a broken arm, and the innings declined rapidly, ending on a note of confusion and muddled thinking which denied Lamb the true credit he would otherwise have received for his unbeaten century. Lamb was the only batsman to cope successfully with the variable bounce, once Terry had had his left arm broken trying to avoid a short ball from Davis which did not get up as high as he expected. Thereafter only Allott helped Lamb to any extent when contributing 26 to a sixth-wicket partnership of 81. Lamb was still 2 short of three figures when Garner bowled Pocock and Cowans in the same over, thus, as everybody thought, ending England's first innings.

The players had started to walk off the field when Gower appeared on the England balcony to wave them back on, Terry emerging after a delay of more than two minutes with his plastered left arm in a sling under his sweater. With another 23 runs needed to avoid the follow-on, it appeared a brave move on Terry's part to try to provide company for Lamb while the latter tried to get them. But more confusing scenes followed when Lamb played defensively at the first five deliveries of the next over from Holding before turning the sixth to fine leg. Lamb ran 1, as if to keep the strike, but then called for a second, to complete his century, before starting to walk off once more. He explained later that he understood Terry had been sent out solely to allow him to reach his hundred. But again Gower waved them to stay on, and Terry, in no position to defend his wicket against the first ball Garner sent down to him, was bowled by the second to end England's innings 220 runs behind.

Conflicting statements, which failed to establish Gower's exact intention when Terry first made his reappearance, appeared only to have an unsettling effect on England's second innings. Any hope of their making a fight of the match had disappeared by the close of this fourth day, by when, following on, they were 120 for five, four of the wickets having fallen to Harper's off-spin. Harper finished with six for 57 when the innings folded rapidly on the fifth morning, the only encouraging note for England being Gower's unbeaten 57, the first time he had passed fifty for his country since he was officially installed as captain. Having had to share the honours with Botham after his first double-century, Greenidge was undisputed Man of the Match this time. The total attendance was 52,214, with takings of £231,537.

© John Wisden & Co