Fifth Test Match

WEST INDIES v AUSTRALIA 1954-55

In a game of many records, first and foremost was the performance of Walcott in hitting for the second time during the series two separate centuries in a match, a feat never before accomplished. Furthermore he became the first player to reach three figures on five occasions in a Test rubber. The Australian total, besides being the biggest ever recorded in a Test match by a team from the Commonwealth, yielded two other records -- the scoring of five centuries in an innings and the highest third wicket stand in history for Australia.

By the end of the opening day West Indies appeared likely to make a better fight, for with six wickets down they had 327 runs on the board. They began badly on a pitch full of runs, losing two wickets, including that of the new opening batsman, Furlonge, for 13. Then Walcott led a recovery in which Weekes and Worrell rendered able support. Let off when 21 by Johnston, who twisted a knee in attempting the catch and did not bowl in the match, Walcott offered only one more chance, at 105, during a stay of nearly five hours. While always strong in defence, he drove, cut and pulled with great power. Weekes, who injured a thigh muscle early in his innings, hit so fiercely all round that in scoring 56 of the 82 added for the third wicket, he registered no fewer than ten boundaries. Worrell, with a discriminating display, helped Walcott to put on 110 before falling to a splendid left-handed catch on the leg side behind the wicket by Langley, who gave a capital exhibition and in the two innings allowed only eight byes. Next day Miller bowled so effectively that the remaining four wickets went down for 30 runs. Three of them fell to Miller at a cost of 15 runs, and he finished with six for 107.

Australia in turn made a poor start, losing two men for seven runs, but from that point they were the masters. McDonald and Harvey, proceeding unhurriedly, put on 295 in a little over five hours. Harvey, staying till his side stood 16 ahead, batted for seven hours five minutes and hit one 6 and twenty-four 4's. Very slow at first, Miller shared with Archer in a stand which realised 220, and there followed a dazzling display of forcing batsmanship by Benaud. So mercilessly did Benaud flog a tiring attack that, with two 6's and fifteen 4's among his figures, he reached 100 in seventy-eight minutes. Upon his dismissal Johnson declared with Australia 401 ahead.

Three West Indies wickets went down for 65, but again Walcott checked the success of bowlers. He found a steady partner in Sobers, who stayed three hours while 179 runs were added, but when they were parted such a breakdown occurred that the innings and the match were all over for another 75 runs early on the sixth day.

© John Wisden & Co