Third Cornhill Test

ENGLAND v WEST INDIES 1980

D.F.

At Manchester, July 10, 11, 12, 14, 15. Drawn. More than ten and a half hours lost to bad light and rain, as well as determined batting in England's second innings, combined to produce the first post-war drawn Test against West Indies at Old Trafford. Had Willey not been missed at slip by Greenidge when 13, West Indies might have taken an unassailable lead in the series.

England dropped the two Kent batsmen Tavaré and Woolmer and replaced them with Rose and Larkins as an attacking move, while West Indies preferred Marshall to Croft in their fast bowling ranks. Rose, the Somerset captain, was thus playing under his county vice-captain Botham, the first such occurrence since, in Australia in 1936-37, G. O. B. Allen of Middlesex took the field behind R. W. V. Robins.

West Indies captain Lloyd, who enjoyed the personal triumph of making his thirteenth Test hundred on his home county ground, caused a ripple of surprise by putting England in to bat on an overcast, chilly first morning. The pitch looked to be an excellent one for batting but, by 3.52 p.m., Lloyd's decision had been fully justified. England had been bowled out for 150. Their collapse, from 126 for three, was triggered off by the departure of Gatting to Marshall. Before then, he and Rose had advanced the score by 91 in just over an hour and a half, the much-vaunted West Indies pace attack being temporarily mastered.

England lost their last seven wickets for 24 in fifty-two minutes to record their lowest home total since West Indies destroyed A. W. Greig's side for 71 and 126 on the same ground during their victorious 1976 tour. Marshall was the main force behind the decline, taking three wickets in fourteen balls including that of Rose, who had kept to his pre-match pledge of attacking the fast bowlers and made a splendidly aggressive 70. England's disappointment at surrendering a potentially commanding position was not reflected in the field, and when bad light accounted for the last ninety minutes of play West Indies were 38 for three.

The brilliant Richards, responsible for all but 6 of these runs, continued a remarkable, vendetta-like attack on Willis next morning. But a miscalculation of Botham's line cost him his wicket for a magnificent 65 when a second successive Test hundred appeared to be comfortably within his grasp. Richards' thrilling stroke-play was reserved almost exclusively for Willis, England's main strike bowler, off whom he collected 53 of his runs. Only three hours twelve minutes play was possible on the second day, when West Indies took their lead to 69 and Lloyd passed 5,000 Test runs to stand alongside Sobers and Kanhai as the only other West Indians to have achieved that distinction. For England the 21-year-old Dilley bowled with speed, heart and determination in only his third Test.

Lloyd had to wait until Monday for the hundred he fervently wanted on his last Test appearance at Old Trafford. Saturday's play again fell victim to the weather, the umpires abandoning all hope of any play at 4.45 p.m. following six inspections. On Monday Lloyd duly collected the 21 he needed for his hundred before West Indies' innings was wound up for 260 by the off-spin of Emburey, who picked up the last three wickets for 10 in 27 balls.

Facing a deficit of 110 in their second innings, England needed a rapid 350 to stand any possible chance of victory. But a slow over-rate and the limited scoring opportunities presented by the battery of West Indian fast bowlers were against such an ambitious prospect. In the event, England took a lead of 91 into the final day, Boycott showing typical steadiness with 81 not out. He had added only 5 on the last morning when Holding won an lbw verdict against him.

At 290 for six soon after lunch, England were edging towards defeat, 180 ahead with about three and a quarter hours of the match left. But Willey held on splendidly and received valuable support from Emburey. Although the final overs of Willey's innings were played out against the less regular bowlers, the first hour and a half of it was fashioned under considerable pressure, even allowing for the absence from most of the last day of Roberts, who was suffering from a back injury.

Lloyd took the £350 Man of the Match award. The total attendance was 57,426 and receipts were £170,000.

© John Wisden & Co