Third Test Match


West Indies won by ten wickets, their fifth consecutive victory at Kensington Oval being completed early on the final day in spite of the accumulated loss of seven and three-quarter hours of play to the sudden and definite end of Barbados' dry season. West Indies' record on the ground, and uncertainty over how the pitch would play after persistent overnight and morning rain had delayed the start until midway through the first day, appeared uppermost in the New Zealanders' minds when they had to bat first on losing the toss. As it turned out, the pitch lacked any real devil, but by the time more rain halted play soon after tea New Zealand were 18 for four. They fell next day for the lowest Test total ever recorded on the ground, 3 fewer than Australia's the previous season, and in the final half-hour West Indies were already within 3 runs of the lead when Martin Crowe, in his first bowl of the tour, dismissed Richardson, going on to remove Gomes in the same over. Haynes quickly followed and West Indies did not take command until Marshall joined Richards at 174 for seven. The pair added 83 as Richards, with three 6s and twelve 4s, completed his nineteenth Test century in just under three and a quarter hours.

Poor light halted play an hour early on the third day and a sodden outfield delayed play for another hour on the fourth, a welcome respite for New Zealand. However, Marshall, delivering from round the wicket with speed and hostility, proved irresistible. The main defiance came from Wright, who batted for two and three-quarter hours before he was caught at slip. Coney and Boock carried the match into the final day by adding 77 for the eighth wicket; but Marshall dismissed Boock just before stumps and then returned next morning to finish things off. His match return of eleven for 120 was his best in Tests, ten of his wickets coming from deliveries bowled from round the wicket.

© John Wisden & Co