Second Test Match

WEST INDIES v. AUSTRALIA

At Bridgetown, March 9, 10, 11, 13, 14. Drawn. The West Indies selectors made three changes for the second Test, bringing in Julien, Willett and Deryck Murray for Dowe, Inshan Ali who had injured his shoulder in the first Test, and Findlay. This would have been both Julien and Willett's first Test match, but at practice on the eve of the match Julien was struck on the arm and broke a bone and so Boyce became a last minute replacement. Australia made one change-- Jenner for Lillee whose back trouble had started in Antigua.

Overall the pattern of the first Test was reproduced when on an easy-paced wicket the batsmen on both sides built up big enough scores in the first two innings to make a draw inevitable. Both sides had at least one anxious moment, but in each case the bowling was not penetrative enough to turn a useful advantage into a decisive one. On the first day Australia, with the exception of the Chappell brothers, did not bat well, but they were allowed to recover from 218 for six to 324 all out. The West Indies were themselves in some trouble when their fifth wicket fell at 179 on the third day, rain having shortened the second by two and a half hours. Their position was restored by a fine stand between Kanhai and Murray and their innings ended late on the fourth afternoon.

Having lost their first two wickets for only 19 on the first morning Australia were steered out of trouble by some more brilliant batting by Ian and Greg Chappell. Early, both were bothered by Boyce and Holder, but when the moisture had gone from the wicket they batted in their best form. Willett had an encouraging introduction to Test cricket; his first over was a tight maiden and in his first spell his figures were 9--4--9--0. Ian Chappell was unnecessarily run out when they had added 129, but Greg went on to reach a fine hundred in three hours fifty-five minutes. It was then left to Marsh with useful help from O'Keeffe to take Australia past 300.

West Indies soon lost Greenidge, leg-before, playing no stroke to an inswinger and throughout the innings the bat was never in complete control. Fredericks flashed away outside the off stump in his usual way needing a fair amount of luck. When he was 30 he was dropped behind by Marsh off Hammond off the first ball of the third day. Eventually, when he was two runs short of his century he was leg before trying to force a ball from Hammond which came back into him. Kanhai and Murray took time to establish themselves and from the way in which Kanhai batted later on in his innings it was clear that he was thinking in terms of a draw rather than victory. He batted for five hours for 105 and his partnership with Murray was worth 165 for the sixth wicket. Murray himself went on to reach 90 before being out to a brilliant catch at cover by Redpath.

For the last day and a quarter the players did little more than go through the motions, for the game was dead. Ian Chappell and Walters seized the chance of some batting practice and at the same time a good look at the West Indies bowling and both reached centuries, but they were not made to work too hard for their runs.

© John Wisden & Co