Third Test Match

ENGLAND v WEST INDIES 1950

L.S.

A gallant attempt by England to fight themselves out of an almost hopeless position failed, and good bowling on the first day, supported by a wonderful innings by Worrell, gave West Indies an easy victory.

More bad luck dogged England in the matter of team selection. On the eve of the match Hutton was found to be suffering from a recurrence of lumbago and Gimblett was troubled by a boil on his neck. The selectors, at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, made a hurried telephone call for Dewes of Middlesex to join the team. From the side beaten at Lord's, England were without Hutton, Edrich, Doggart and Wardle. They brought in Simpson (recovered from injury), Dewes, Insole, Shackleton and Hollies. West Indies preferred Johnson to Jones reverting to the eleven defeated at Old Trafford.

Yardley had many doubts when he won the toss, for the pitch was a little green, and if it were to help bowlers at all in the match it was likely to do so only during the first hour or so. He decided that the risk of putting West Indies in was too great and England batted. The result was disastrous and in the first hour England virtually lost the match. In that period four wickets fell for 25 runs, and although the other batsmen tried hard and brought a partial recovery the side were all out for 223 and the pitch by that time had become perfect.

Insole, although far from comfortable against spin, helped Yardley add 50. The Essex player was virtually bowled off his pads but Chester signalled him out l. b. w. before the ball hit the stumps. Yardley played his best innings of the series, and Shackleton, in his first Test drove powerfully, scoring 42 out of 69 in seventy minutes. In the last sixty-five minutes on Thursday West Indies scored 77 for the loss of Stollmeyer.

Next day the English bowling was trounced, particularly during a fourth-wicket stand between Worrell and Weekes. Christiani, the overnight stopgap, left at 95, but Rae and Worrell put West Indies ahead during a partnership of 143. Rae, as usual, concentrated on defence, and took four hours ten minutes to score 68 out of 238. Worrell, on the other hand, batted in scintillating style, and the bowlers and fieldsmen were unable to check a wonderful array of fluent strokes. Weekes, usually a quicker scorer, was overshadowed until Worrell tired near the end of the day. At the close West Indies were 479 for three, with Worrell 239 and Weekes 108. They had put on 241, and so easily did he play the bowling that there were many people who considered that Worrell stood a good chance of beating Hutton's record Test score of 364.

In less than half an hour on Saturday Worrell was out. He batted five hours thirty-five minutes and hit two 6's and thirty-five 4's while scoring 261 out of 426. Weekes did not stay much longer; his 129 (seventeen 4's) was scored in three hours forty minutes.

Deadly bowling by Bedser that morning caused the fall of the seven remaining wickets in eighty minutes for 79 runs, and just on one o'clock Washbrook and Simpson opened the second innings with England 335 behind. Showers caused frequent stoppages, but the two batsmen were in no way disturbed, and when rain finally ended play for the day the score stood at 87 without loss.

They were not separated until a quarter past three on Monday, by which time 212 runs were on the board--the highest opening stand by either side in this series of Test matches. Washbrook, first to go, batted five hours twenty minutes for 102, revealing, like Simpson, tremendous concentration. Simpson lasted only a quarter of an hour longer, being run out when going for a sharp single.

Even then England were far from finished, for Dewes and Parkhouse, without looking as safe as the first pair, batted well, and at one period the score stood at 326 for two with England only nine runs behind. A shocking last half-hour turned the course of the game, England losing Parkhouse, Yardley and Insole. Thus in a few minutes the great start had been wasted.

England began the last day 15 ahead with five wickets left, and, despite a merry 63 out of 84 by Evans, wickets fell steadily, and West Indies were set to get 102 to win. In bowling 92 overs in the innings, Valentine delivered more balls than any other Test bowler during one innings. Stollmeyer and Rae made light of the task and hit off the runs in an hour and forty minutes, the match being over at ten minutes to four.

During their first innings of 558 West Indies established several records, the most important of which were:--(a) Their highest total in any Test match against England. (b) The highest total by either side in England. (c) Worrell's 261 was the highest Test score ever made at Trent Bridge. (d) Worrell made the highest score by a batsman for either country in a Test match in England. (e) The fourth-wicket partnership between Worrell and Weekes of 283 was the highest stand for any wicket for either side in this Test series in England. (f) The partnership was the highest Test stand for West Indies in any part of the world. (g) The stand was the highest fourth-wicket partnership for West Indies in any match in England.

© John Wisden & Co