Second Test Match

Australia v West Indies 1968-69

Toss: Australia. Test debuts: Australia - J.W.Gleeson, A.P.Sheahan; India - S.Abid Ali, U.N.Kulkarni.

There were five changes in the two sides for this Test. Australia brought in Walters, who was fit again, for Inverarity, and Freeman replaced Mallett while the West Indies substituted Edwards, Fredericks and Davis, all playing in their first Test, for Griffith, Lloyd (who was injured) and Holford. Lawry put the West Indies in on a pitch which had a definite green tinge and on a bitterly cold Boxing Day, McKenzie broke the back of the batting with some superb fast bowling which extracted every bit of help out of the wicket. Only Fredericks and Butcher survived for long, Fredericks batting right through the first day which rain shortened by eighty-three minutes and he showed the guts that the others so significantly lacked. McKenzie took eight for 71 in 28 overs.

Redpath soon gave Edwards his first Test wicket, but Lawry and Chappell completely dominated the bowling in a second-wicket stand of 298 in five hours, ten minutes, hitting sixteen fours. After being dropped in the gully off Edwards when 10, Chappell batted even better than he had so far against the tourists. He used his fast footwork to dictate to all the bowlers alike and he demoralised the bowling. Lawry, who batted efficiently, but as undemonstratively as ever, was the perfect foil.

The West Indies did not bowl well and none, not even Gibbs, could bowl tight enough to restrict the scoring. Lawry's 205 took seven hours, twenty minutes and contained one 6 and twelve fours. When Chappell was out, Walters, whose timing was never right, helped Lawry to add 123 and the West Indies began their second innings 310 behind. Fredericks again fought hard, but they never looked as if they would save the match, the batsmen too readily accepting the inevitavility of defeat. The only prolonged resistance came from Nurse and Sobers in a stand of 134. Gleeson took five wickets in the innings and the match ended in the last over of the fourth day.

For the statistically minded, it can be noted that Ian Chappell's 165 brought the total of centuries in all Test cricket to 1,000 and his 165 was the same score as Charles Bannerman's in the first Test in 1877.

© John Wisden & Co