Second Test


Toss: West Indies.

Outstanding bowling by Walsh secured West Indies the fourth-biggest victory in Test history and New Zealand's heaviest defeat, despite a Basin Reserve pitch made for batsmen. With awkward bounce unobtainable, Walsh concentrated on an immaculate line and length. He was at his best bowling across the left-handers; one over in which he repeatedly flummoxed Fleming, apparently well-set on 47, and finally had him caught was worthy of inclusion in any coaching video. His match figures were 13 for 55, bettered for West Indies only by Michael Holding's 14 for 149 at The Oval in 1976, and he conceded just 1.52 an over. He beat his previous best Test return of six for 62 in both innings and, when he dismissed Young for the second time, reached 250 wickets in his 70th Test.

There were no excuses for the home batting, on a pitch Adams rated nine point plenty out of ten. Junior Murray, who batted nearly five hours over two innings, and Young got New Zealand through a tricky 12 overs on the second evening, and next morning Murray went to fifty. But, as so often in New Zealand's centenary season, the batsmen failed to dig in; there were too many dashers when grafters were required.

Their double batting failure followed West Indies' innings of 660 for five, their fourth-highest total in Tests and the biggest ever conceded by New Zealand. It included three centuries, which could have been four if Campbell had not slowed down after damaging a hamstring. Lara, after some early false shots, upheld his reputation with a glorious array of strokes all around the wicket before being given lbw to the slower ball which Morrison calls his soft pie. He had made 147 from 181 balls, with 23 fours, and added 221 with Adams, a West Indian third-wicket record against New Zealand. Adams was a little slower, but advanced to 151 from 226 balls, primarily through drives and pushes; his first hook came on 80. The punchline was Murray's maiden Test hundred, from 88 balls, scored overwhelmingly on the under-populated leg side. He was almost cut short by Hart and Parore on 98, when he was not given caught behind, and next ball offered a straightforward leg-side stumping chance.

That was the major blemish in what was generally efficient, dedicated New Zealand fielding in trying conditions. But they had handicapped themselves from the start. Thomson needed eight stitches below the knee after falling over an advertising hoarding at fielding practice. He was mistakenly passed fit to play next day but had to stand in the unaccustomed position of first slip, did not bowl an over and batted without freedom. Doull and Rutherford also carried injuries. Su'a was a dubious selection for other reasons; he had been suspended by Auckland for abusing an umpire in the club match, but he played for New Zealand until a later hearing suspended him afresh. New Zealand also used Stephen Mather as a substitute; he was on hand only because he had been suspended by Wellington for off-field misconduct, but he earned more than he would have done playing in their Shell Trophy game.

Man of the Match: C. A. Walsh.

Close of play: First day, West Indies 356-3 (J. C. Adams 87*, K. L. T. Arthurton 0*); Second day, New Zealand 23-0 (B. A. Young 12*, D. J. Murray 7*); Third day, New Zealand 52-3 (D. J. Murray 13*, S. P. Fleming 28*).

© John Wisden & Co