Third Test Match

West Indies v England

At Sabina Park, Jamaica, February 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23. Drawn. Six days of exciting cricket ended with the result in doubt until the final quarter of an hour. Rarely has a Test match undergone so many changes of fortune and although in the end England were probably satisfied to draw, they came close to winning.

England were unchanged but West Indies brought in McMorris, Scarlett and Nurse for Worrell, Butcher and Singh. Worrell damaged an ankle just before the match. May won the toss for the third time and on a pitch resembling polished marble England made a poor showing on the first day. Again the batsmen had to withstand plenty of short-pitched bowling from Hall and Watson although bumpers were scarcer than at Trinidad. Hall, fast and menacing, caused the England breakdown and by the end of the first day he had taken five for 35 in a total of 165 for six. Cowdrey, though hit many times and badly bruised, stayed throughout the five hours for 75. During the afternoon part of a tin roof collapsed through people standing on it and several were injured.

Next day England came back well with Cowdrey and Trueman adding 45 for the eight-wicket stand and the last three wickets putting on 107. Cowdrey, ninth out, fought splendidly for six and three-quarter hours, but he kept his strokes in check and his 114 included only eleven 4's. Hall finished with seven for 69, the best of his Test career.

West Indies ended the second day at 81 for two, Kanhai being run out when he and McMorris were at the same end. Sobers, when two, offered and awkward chance to mid wicket off Statham and this proved a costly miss. England toiled the entire third day without a wicket, West Indies leaving off 14 ahead with eight wickets left. McMorris wore down the bowling for over five and a half hours while scoring 65 before a short ball from Statham struck him on the chest and caused his retirement with a contused lung. McMorris and Sobers put on 133 and another big stand came when Nurse replaced McMorris.

A record crowd of over 20,000 was shocked by the complete transformation which came over the game on Saturday. Sobers, who batted six hours eleven minutes and hit one 5 and twenty-one 4's, was soon out and in ninety minutes before lunch, despite their strong position, West Indies added only 38. Trying to improve the rate in the afternoon, they collapsed badly. three wickets fell at the lunch score of 329 and in eighty-two minutes the last seven went for the addition of 24 to the interval total. McMorris, with his chest protected, resumed at the fall of the sixth wicket, but did not stay long.

England thus restricted the lead to 76 of which Cowdrey and Pullar cleared 65 by the close. The pitch developed large cracks, but played well while Cowdrey and Pullar carried their stand to 177. Both left at the same total. Cowdrey, in great form, gave one of his finest displays and missed a century in each innings by three. He drove and hooked with perfect timing. Subsequently, the ball began to shoot and turn off the cracks and England broke down, only May holding out for long. Nine wickets went for 280 by close on the fifth day but on the last morning Allen and Statham held out for a valuable forty-five minutes and West Indies needed 230 to win in four hours five minutes.

Hunte began with a flourish, scoring 40 out of 48 for one in an hour, but the turning-point came when Sobers was run out when he looked dangerous. West Indies kept after the runs, but although the pitch did not deteriorate as much as expected scoring was never easy. At tea 115 were needed with ninety minutes left, but when Kanhai was sixth out West Indies gave up the chase and England tried to get the last four wickets in the final forty-five minutes. Near the end May refused to allow a runner for Kanhai, who developed cramp and muscle trouble at the back of the leg. Later May apologised to Kanhai and Alexander for his misinterpretation of the law, though the umpires and Alexander himself were also in doubt about the position.

© John Wisden & Co