Fourth Cornhill Test

England v West Indies 2000

David Hopps

Toss: West Indies.

The first two-day Test win for 54 years - and England's first since crushing South Africa at Old Trafford in 1912 - ensured that the 2000 Headingley Test would claim a prominent place in cricket folklore. Inspirational English pace bowling, a mediocre surface and West Indies' continued fallibility against the seaming or swinging ball combined to bring England victory with astonishing haste. It was their first innings win over West Indies since 1966.

The worldwide trend for shorter Test matches - out of kilter with the game's reputation as an imperceptible battle for supremacy over five long and contemplative days - had already been noted with some disquiet. But nowhere had the pace been so unremittingly frenetic as at Headingley. West Indies were routed just as they had been at Lord's, dismissed in their second innings for only 61 in 26.2 overs, in seven minutes over two hours.

The Leeds crowd, beside itself with excitement, could even crow that, at almost every stage, Yorkshire players led the way. Rarely has a Test bowler spectacularly rounded things off with five for five in 15 balls - including four wickets in an over - and still imagined himself a support act. That, though, was the fate to befall Caddick, of Somerset. White's England career had attracted more than a few dismissive comments over the previous six years, and not three months had passed since he fell unconscious in a Scarborough side street and feared for his long-term health. At 30, his hair was beginning to thin, but his upper body was stronger and the 90mph delivery, once an occasional shock weapon, was now produced with regularity. His reverse swing, delivered from around the wicket to West Indies' procession of left-handers, also proved devastating. On the opening day, he took five in a Test innings for the first time as the tourists were bundled out for 172 inside 49 overs on a damp and uneven surface.

White and his Yorkshire team-mate, Gough, took all five pre-lunch wickets. Fifty was raised with misleading ease - only Campbell had departed, caught at the squarer of two gullies - but then four wickets fell for ten runs, three in 17 balls to White. Hinds was caught behind off an inside edge, Lara offered no stroke and Adams dragged on. With Griffith cutting feebly at Gough, only Sarwan, with a fluent and unbeaten half-century, countered a capricious pitch with élan. By the close of a breathless first day, England too were in disarray and, at 105 for five, could have had no confidence of even the slenderest lead. Ambrose stalked England's top order with silent and deadly efficiency, both openers going in his first three overs. Atherton's nibble to slip brought him his 400th Test wicket, a feat greeted by the highest of high-fives and a melon smile. With Walsh already well past the mark, two 400-wicket men bowled in tandem for the first time in history. Walsh claimed three victims of his own by the close, two nip-backers ending the partial recovery engineered by Hussain and Thorpe, who added 70 for the third wicket. Hussain's 22 in almost two hours was his highest Test score of a tormented batting summer.

On the second morning, the match swung England's way. Vaughan, on his home midden and batting in the scholarly, slightly formal manner of a country parson, made a Test-best 76. Hick, at No. 8 thanks to Caddick's night-watchman duties, hit a half-century just as composed, especially while cutting. Vaughan's strokeplay was judicious - watchful in defence, stylish in the drive and strikingly dominant on the pull shot - his running between the wickets set a positive tone, and West Indies' fielding became slipshod. After three and a quarter hours, he succumbed to Ambrose and the second new ball, but not before he had added 45 useful runs with Cork, who was comically missed on nought as Hinds misjudged a skier. When Walsh claimed Gough's wicket, the unimagined bounty of another 167 runs, at four an over, had put England exactly 100 ahead.

What followed rivalled even the drama of Headingley 1981, when Ian Botham banished the Australians. The bounce had been awkward for batsmen facing bowling from the Rugby Stand End, but West Indies' collapse was primarily brought about by high-quality swing bowling at speed. Gough, twice overshadowed by Yorkshire colleagues, now delivered for the faithful, dismissing a trio of left-handers with in-duckers in his first three overs. Griffith and Hinds both fell first ball, with Griffith's stumps splayed and Hinds struck on the back leg. Lara barely jammed down on the hat-trick ball, but he fell in Gough's next over, lbw without playing a shot for the second time in the match. Cork, eager to join the fray, then struck Jimmy Adams on the hand and, after treatment, caused him to drag on next ball.

After tea, Caddick was finally allowed to switch to the Rugby Stand End, where he produced the most devastating over of his Test career. Jacobs was lbw to the first ball, then the stumps were shattered three times - dismissing McLean, Ambrose and King - in four legitimate deliveries to leave this impassive cricketer wheeling around the outfield in disbelief. It took him another eight balls to complete the job. Five batsmen had departed for ducks in the lowest Test total recorded at Headingley. England took a 2-1 lead and Saturday's sell-out crowd had to make other arrangements.

© John Wisden & Co. Ltd.