Fourth Test Match

England v West Indies

Leslie Smith

At Leeds, July 25, 26, 27, 29. West Indies won by 221 runs. As at Manchester, they showed that under sunny conditions they were much stronger than England, particularly when they had the advantage of winning the toss.

The match ended shortly after lunch on the fourth day and in contrast to the two previous games England at no time held the upper hand.

The batting of Kanhai and Butcher, the high-class all-round work of Sobers and the bowling of Griffith and Gibbs, contributed mainly to the West Indies success.

England disappointed in batting and lacked penetration in attack. Nobody enjoyed a really good match for them.

One change was made from the England side successful at Birmingham. Bolus replacing Richardson as opening batsman. Bolus, born only a short distance from Leeds, had been allowed to leave Yorkshire to join Nottinghamshire the previous year. West Indies also changed one opening batsman, McMorris displacing Carew.

Worrell, playing his 50th Test, beat Dexter in the toss for the third time in four and gave West Indies the advantage of batting first on a pitch which contained a reasonable amount of pace and movement in it at first, but which was expected to take spin later in the game.

West Indies began shakily, losing their first three wickets for 71, but the turning point came during a splendid fourth wicket stand of 143 between Kanhai and Sobers. Because of the situation, they showed a fair amount of care, but were always ready to produce their fine strokes against anything loose.

Not until after tea, with the total 209 for three, did Dexter try Lock. With his seventh ball Lock ended the stand, yorking Kanhai, whose 92 came in three hours, thirty-six minutes.

In his second spell Lock also accounted for Sobers with a brilliant one-handed return catch from the ball after he had completed his century. Sobers made 102 in four hours, eleven minutes and his fourteen 4's. When 82 he completed 4,000 runs in Test cricket.

At the close West Indies were 294 for five and they were out for the addition of 103. Solomon and Murray put on 61 for the sixth wicket.

The England innings began dramatically. Eleven came off the opening over from Hall. Bolus hit ten of them, including an on-driven four off the first ball he received in a Test. This was the prelude to a bad collapse, half the side being out for 34, four of them falling to Griffith, who varied fast yorkers with short-pitched balls which always worried the batsmen.

The failures continued until eight men had gone for 93. Then Lock again showed his usefulness with the bat and completed his second successive Test fifty. A determined Titmus helped him take the score to 169 for eight by the close, but they were soon parted next morning, having added 79.

Although leading by 223, Worrell decided not to enforce the follow-on because he feared the pitch might deteriorate badly. His decision enabled a large crowd to enjoy a feast of stroke-play. The gates were closed an hour after the start of the third day with over 30,000 inside.

Hunte and McMorris were soon out, but Kanhai and Butcher added 65 in only thirty-nine minutes. Butcher and Sobers followed with a stand of 96 in seventy-two minutes, the bowlers being punished unmercifully. Butcher hit twelve 4's in 78, which took an hour and fifty minutes and Sobers made 52 in eighty minutes.

With the pitch starting to take spin, Titmus troubled the later batsmen and the last six wickets fell for 48. West Indies made their 229 in three and a half hours.

England faced the gigantic task of scoring 453 to win and any hopes of a miracle soon faded. Sobers opened the bowling instead of Hall and in his first over he bowled Stewart. Dexter also left early, but Bolus and Barrington brought some improvement, adding 59. Bolus made some neat strokes, particularly off his legs, before being out ten minutes from the close. At 113 for four, England were hopelessly placed. In the day 16 wickets went down and 347 runs were scored.

Sharpe soon fell on the fourth morning, but a good stand of 69 in seventy-three minutes came from Close and Parks. Close hit ten 4's in 56 and Parks two 6's and five 4's in 57. The first of his 6's was carried over the line by Solomon on the square-leg boundary after he had held the ball. A year earlier this would probably have been given out, but an experimental law had been introduced whereby six runs were awarded if a fieldsman carried the ball over the boundary, even though the catch had been completed.

The end came twenty minutes after lunch. Despite the probability of an early finish about 20,000 people saw the play with the total attendance approximately 102,000. In the match Griffith took none for 81, his six for 36 in the first innings being his best Test effort.

© John Wisden & Co