Fourth Test Match

West Indies v England

At Georgetown, British Guiana, March 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15. Drawn. England made certain of not losing the rubber, but the match was a big disappointment, slow play being the feature throughout. Also the pitch became completely lifeless as the game progressed. Cowdrey took over the England captaincy from May and Subba Row came into the side. West Indies were without Ramadhin because of shoulder trouble and Lance Gibbs, who should have replaced him, damaged his spinning-finger in the previous match, so Scarlett, originally omitted, retained his place. Walcott emerged from Test retirement, replacing Nurse, Worrell, fit again, took over from Solomon and Singh came in for Ramadhin.

Rain delayed the start by an hour and a quarter and England, who again won the toss, began batting fifteen minutes before lunch. Cowdrey and Pullar gave them another useful start with a stand of 73 and at the close of the first day England, 152 for two and Cowdrey still there, were fairly well placed. Next day they batted badly against Hall and were all out for the addition of 143. Cowdrey did not add to his overnight 65 and of the others only Dexter and Allen, who made his first Test fifty, showed reasonable form. At one point six wickets were down for 175, but the last four added 120. Hall's speed, strength and stamina earned his six for 90. Barrington, struck on the arm by Hall on the first day, retired after twenty minutes, but returned at the fall of the seventh wicket.

West Indies did not lose a wicket in the last fifty minutes, but so slow were Hunte and McMorris on the third morning that only 31 came in ninety minutes. McMorris soon followed Hunte, but Kanhai and Sobers continued the strange tactics at a time when West Indies should have been looking for runs to give them time to win the match. The third day's play produced only 107 runs in four hours eighteen minutes, rain causing forty-two minutes to be lost. Certainly England bowled and fielded defensively, but no effort was made to break the stranglehold.

All told, the third-wicket pair added 115 in three hours forty-three minutes. Sobers maintained his big scoring form and at the close of the fourth day was 142 not out in a total of 332 for four. Next morning, Allen dismissed Worrell and Sobers in the first fifteen minutes, ending a partnership between them of 121. Worrell's share was only 38. Sobers batted seven hours, hitting one 6 and eighteen 4's. Alexander and Scarlett improved the scoring rate slightly, but when Alexander declared 107 ahead only eight hours remained and West Indies changes of winning on such an easy pitch were remote. To add to their troubles, Watson tore some ligaments in his right ankle and could not bowl.

On the England side, Subba Row chipped a knuckle bone in the first innings and batted with strapping on his hand. At the end of the fifth day England were 110 for two and on the last day they did not lose another wicket until half an hour before tea, Dexter and Subba Row sharing a stand of 148. Dexter, again in splendid form, hit his second century of the series and Subba Row obtained his first Test hundred. With a draw certain, some of the later batsmen became careless, but even so only 26 wickets fell in the match for 1,031 runs and the average scoring rate was less than 37 runs an hour. After the game Statham flew home because his son was seriously ill.

© John Wisden & Co