Fifth Test

AUSTRALIA v WEST INDIES 1992-93

Toss: Australia. Test debuts: J. Angel; A. C. Cummins.

West Indies' fourth victory in their four Tests at the WACA ground was secured five minutes before lunch on the third day. It originated in one of Test cricket's most devastating spells, by Ambrose, which wrecked Australia on the first day and assured West Indies of retaining the Frank Worrell Trophy they had held since 1977-78. With the strong Fremantle Doctor breeze at his back, Ambrose took seven wickets, among them Border first ball, for one run off 32 balls. Six of the victims were caught either by the wicket-keeper or in the slips. Australia were reduced from 85 for two to 119 all out; by the close of play West Indies were already in the lead at 135 for one, and their batsmen had hit four sixes and 16 fours.

Richardson accounted for two sixes and seven fours in 47 off 40 balls, and, though Haynes retired after hooking a bouncer into his face, Simmons had hit confidently for 80. Australia clawed back a little ground on the second morning when Simmons was among the four wickets that fell for 87. However, a dropped catch by Border at slip off Hughes allowed Murray to escape before he had scored, and the wicket-keeper and Arthurton consolidated West Indies' position with a partnership of 75.

With a daunting deficit of 203, Australia lost four wickets by the end of the second day and their hopes of making a fight of it depended heavily on Boon and Border, their two most experienced batsmen. Bishop, generating extreme pace, despatched both in the same over and the rest was a formality as he completed his best figures in Test cricket. Bishop ended Boon's series ten runs short of 500, uprooting his off stump, and then bowled Border off the inside edge third ball. It was the first time in his 138 Tests the Australian captain had endured a pair, and he remained 50 short of passing S. M. Gavaskar's record of 10,122 Test runs. His disappointment was compounded when, along with Hughes, he was reported for the second time in the series for showing dissent, though they were only severely reprimanded rather than fined. Australia were also less than happy that such a fast, bouncy pitch should be presented to the West Indian bowlers for the decisive Test of the series. Meanwhile, the 16-man West Indian party all clambered aboard the station wagon that Ambrose won as Man of the Series and, with Ambrose at the wheel, did a lap of honour of the WACA. It was perhaps the only time since they arrived in Perth that they had been in any kind of danger.

Man of the Match: C. E. L. Ambrose. Man of the Series: C. E. L. Ambrose. Attendance: 44,197.

Close of play: First day, West Indies 135-1 (P. V. Simmons 45*, B. C. Lara 16*); Second day, Australia 75-4 (D. C. Boon 45*, D. R. Martyn 3*).

© John Wisden & Co
 
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