First Test Match


At Port-of-Spain, March 29, 30, 31, April 2, 3. Drawn. New Zealand's sixth-wicket pair, Coney and Hadlee, resisting doggedly for just over two hours on the final afternoon, frustrated West Indies much as Australia had done in the corresponding Test at Queen's Park Oval the previous season. Richards surprisingly batted on winning the toss in his first Test as appointed captain and his batsmen were at full stretch surviving the early stages on a pitch that encouraged the fast bowlers. Hadlee dismissed Haynes and Gomes in his third over, and Greenidge and Richardson did well to get through this period and build their partnership of 185. Greenidge, dropped at third slip by Howarth off Hadlee when 40, had twelve 4s in his twelfth Test century, but he and Richardson were out in consecutive overs and the innings faltered on the second morning as six wickets fell for 76 - four of them for 16, from eight overs, to the steady Chatfield.

Wright and Jeff Crowe mounted a strong New Zealand response with 109 for the second wicket, but the rest of the batting lacked purpose and West Indies gained a lead of 45, in spite of two chances each to Hadlee and Smith. Rain, which limited play on the third day to two hours, meant West Indies needed to make up time to force a result and Richards led the effort with 78 off 88 balls. Haynes, however, could not emulate him and Richards was obliged to continue his second innings 45 minutes into the final day before declaring. Chatfield's innings and match figures were his best in Tests, just reward for his consistency.

From the time the unfortunate Rutherford was run out without facing a ball, thus completing a pair in his first Test, New Zealand were struggling; and when Marshall dismissed the Crowes and Howarth in a spell of eleven overs after lunch, a West Indian victory appeared likely. But Marshall had exhausted himself by then and none of the other bowlers could make the same impression on a slow pitch. By the time Coney was out, only fourteen of the last twenty overs remained. Hadlee, who joined the élite group of those who have scored over 2,000 runs and taken over 200 wickets in Tests when he had scored 31, and Smith held out.

© John Wisden & Co