Third Test Match

England v Rest Of The World, 1970

At Edgbaston, July 16, 17, 18, 20,21. Rest of the World won by five wickets. After trailing by 269 on the first innings England did well to take the match into the final hour but could not prevent their first defeat in fourteen Test Matches at Edgbaston. The Rest of the World gained ample revenge for their Nottingham set-back, consistent balling enabling them to total 563 for nine to their first innings after dismissing England for 294.

Illingworth and Cowdrey played this match under a fierce spotlight of publicity for it was known that during its course the selectors would decide between them for the captaincy of the M.C.C. team to Australia. The choice finally fell on Illingworth who with Cowdrey made a determined second-innings effort to deny the World XI victory. But England's batting hero was d'Oliveira who rescued the side on the first day with a superb 110 and was top scorer in the second innings with 81.

The all-round strength of the opposition proved just tno much. Eight of their batsmen made 40 or more in the first innings, Lloyd and Sobers giving the Birmingham crowd a rare treat by adding 95 together in the final hour on Friday just as the England bowlers, led by Snnsv, had looked likely to redress the balance.

Englaad fielded the team that won at Trent Bridge. The Rest of the World selectors made two changes, replacing McKenzie with the South African fast bowler Peter Pollock, who thus combined playing and reporting the game, and calling up the former West Indies wicket-keeper, Deryck Murray, a student at Nottingham University, to replace Engineer, whose batting had been disappointing.

Edrich and Luckhurst again gave England a steady start but Sobers, who dismissed Luckhurst, Cowdrey and Fletcher without cost to himself, then plunged the innings into crisis: but d'Oliveira was equal to it. He rescued his side from 76 for four with his fourth century for his adopted country. His second scoring stroke was a 6 and he hit so strongly that Gibbs bowled to him with a long-off and a long-on. With his short backlift d'Oliveira was particularly powerful on the leg side, Illingworth helped to add 58 for the fifth wicket and Greig contributed a watchful 55.

While he and d'Oliveira were together there were hopes of a complete recovery, but Lloyd, the seventh bowler tried, caught and bowled d'Otiveira to end his stay of three and a half hours, during which he hit fifteen 4's. Procter, who then bowled Greig, soon cleared away the tail nest morning to finish with five for 46, his speed and accuracy proving too much for the later batsmen.

Similarly aggressive fast bowling by Snow kept England on terms until Lloyd and Sobers came together at 175 for four. After early uncertainties against Illingworth they launched a blistering attack on the bowling. Sobers, who earlier in the day had taken his 100th Test catch, passed 7,000 runs in international cricket when he was 15 and needed only sixty-eight minutes for 50. Lloyd was not far behind as, matching each other for audacious strokes, they took complete command.

A crowd of 12,500 turned up on Saturday to see the West Indian left-handers renew their onslaught. They stayed foe another half an hour, bringing their partnership to 155 in two hours, before Illingworth bowled Sobers for 80. Lloyd reached his second 100 of the series in three and a quarter hours with two 6's and ten 4's, before he, too, fell to Illingworth.

Procter then carried on the assault and hit twelve 4's in his 50-.--a majestic display. When Snow bowled him for 62 much of the sparkle went from the batting. Nevertheless, Murray and Intikhab built up the second highest Test score at Edgbaston before the declaration left the England openers to play out fifty minutes in the evening.

On Monday Inktihab soon disposed of them, but England made no attempt In strive solely for a draw. Cowdrey and Fletcher played brightly from the start. It was a bad blow for England when Fletcher was needlessly run out. Cowdrey never recovered his best form after this incident but his sensible 71 gave England reason to hope. d'Oliveira punished pace and spin so freely that he made 41 in his first hour. At 271 for four, with he and Illingworth going well, England were making a great fight. Then Sobers took a hand, ending d'Olivrira's innings, which tasted for two hours, twenty minutes and included ten 4's. Illingworth and Greig soon followed so that at the start of the last day England, only 51 on with three wickets left, looked a well beaten side.

However, Knott, given an early life, prolonged the innings for a further two and a half hours, with help from Brown and Snow, the tatter staying for eighty minutes while 45 runs were made for the last wicket, Knott finishing with 50 not nut. The final task for the Rest of the World, 141 in three and a quarter hours, proved no mere formality. Barlow, Richards, Kanhai, Sobers and Lloyd all felt before the target was reached. At 107 for five, with Graeme Pollock injured, there were some doubts about the outcome. However, these were resolved by Procter and Intikhab, who knocked off the remaining 34 runs in quirk time.

© John Wisden & Co