At The Oval. August 13, 14, 15. 17. 18. Rest of thcWorld won by four wickets. There were four notable individual performances in a match which brought a magnificent series to a distinguished close. The quality of the cricket seas such that 53,000 spectators watched play over the five days, although the series had been settled. England's defeat meant that the team batting first lost in all five games, a unique occurrence.
The Lancashire medium-fast bowler, Lever, made an impressive debut for England taking seven Wickets for 83 runs in the Rest of the World first innings. In the same innings Graeme Pollock re-established his reputation as one of the world's great batsmen with a graceful century. His partnership of 165 with Sobers was a batting spectacle which will live long in the minds of those privileged to see it.
Boycott also came back into his own with a masterly innings of 157 which gave England a chance of victory. His effort meant that the World Xl needed 284 to win on a wearing pitch, an Uphill task even though Wilson had to bowl with two damaged fingers on his left hand strapped together. Kanhai rose to the challenge with a dedicated 100. Lloyd hit powerfully for 68 and Sobers was the master of the bowling in the closing stages, making the final Stroke of a series in which he had been the dominant figure.
Lever for Greig was one of two changes made by the England selectors, who named d'Oliveira twelfth man so that Amiss of Warwickshire could be given a chance to win a place on the Australian tour. He did not quite do enough, although fighting hard in both innings. For the World team Mckenzie replaced Gibbs, whose three wickets in the first four matches had cost over 100 runs apiece.
Cowdrey atoned for his double future at Leeds by making top score of 73 in the England first innings of 294, which began badly when Luckhurst was bowled by Proctor's third ball. Once he had settled in Cowdrey looked complete master of the attack. Then he went into his shell and made only 13 in his final hour. Illingworth, with his sixth half-century of the series, and Knott added 86 for the sixth wicket before McKenzie took three wickets in eight balls.
Lever soon made his mark by dismissing Barlow and Mushtaq in his first nine overs but his effort, and everything else on the second day, was overshadowed by the artistry of Pollock and Sobers, who put on 135 in the last two hours. Pollock, with only 108 runs from his previous six innings, made England pay dearly for a missed slip catch when he was 18. There were one 6 and sixteen 4s in his 114, which took just over two and a half hours
On Saturday, the crowd rolled up to see Pollock and Sobers continue their assault; instead Lever took the limelight. Pollock, who was restricted to 10 runs in forty-five minutes was the first to fall to the Lancashire howler a ho later also took the wickets of Sobers and Lloyd. His command of perfecl length and direction made him a formidable Opponent and only Procter of the later batsmen made progress against him.
England's arrears of 61 were cleared for the loss of Luckhurst this lime howled first ball by Procter. Boycott set himself the task of seeing England to a matchwinning score on a pitch beginning to take spin. He and Fletcher batted throughout time fourth morning and altogether added 154 for the third wicket in three and a quarter hours. When Boycott was fourth out at 269, caught off Lloyd, he had been in for six and a quarter hours and hit twenty-three 4's. This was Boycott at his best. Illingworth was dismissed first ball and the rest were swept aside by Sobers and McKenzie
Nevertheless, the final task for the Rest of the World was formidable especially when Barlow was bowled by Snow with six runs scored. On the final morning. Richards and Pollock were both bowled while yards down the pitch and Kanhai made some hair-raising strokes before deciding that it was possible to survive, although the ball was turning. His century in four hours was the foundation of the winning total.
Lloyd, more selective in his hitting than the South Africans, helped to wrest the advantage from the England bowlers by making 68 Out of 123 put on in even time with Kanhai. With Wilson handicapped the spinners were not up to the task and it was left to Snow to cause a late flutter by removing Lloyd, Kanhai and Mushtaq. Sobers proved immovable and his slash down to the third man boundary brought the winning runs and the crowd on to the field.