On the much the best batting pitch of the series, Australia continued the recovery they had begun so effectively in Sydney in the previous Test. Only once in their last 80 Test matches had West Indies conceded a larger total than Australia's first innings of 515. Gaining a lead of 146 Australia then had visions of a second victory; but slower progress in their second innings, and a typically durable Adelaide pitch, led to the match being left drawn with sixteen overs still unused on the last day.
Australia made two changes from the side which had won earlier in the week, May being preferred as an off-spinner to Peter Taylor, and Whitney coming in for Alderman, who had pulled a hamstring in Sydney. West Indies brought back Patterson in place of Harper. With his second double-hundred for Australia, and the highest individual score made against West Indies since Gavaskar's 236 not out for India at Madras in December 1983, Jones was largely responsible for Australia taking such full advantage of winning the toss. At 75 for three there was no certainty that they would do so; but Jones and Border added 214 for the fourth wicket, and later Hughes, with his first first-class fifty, and Jones made 114 together in what was a record partnership for Australia's ninth wicket against West Indies. Jones faced 347 balls in an innings lasting 538 minutes and hit sixteen fours. Throughout the match there was only one straight drive that reached the distant boundary, though there were a number of all-run 4s.
When West Indies reached 186 in their first innings before losing their second wicket, the match looked like being little more than a struggle for the lead. But Whitney, playing in his fourth Test match, each time as a reserve, changed that with his left-arm fast-medium bowling. Richardson scored his second hundred of the series in just over three hours (160 balls), his first fifty containing many sparkling strokes, most of them off Hughes.
There was still a minimum of eleven playing hours left when Australia went in a second time, their aim being to declare, at the latest, by the close of the fourth day. This to all intents they did, though without quite as many runs as Border would have liked. Against mostly defensive field-placings, and with Taylor and Marsh looking to clinch their places for Australia's forthcoming tour of England, it took Australia 75 overs to make 224 for four. On the last day the nearest Australia came to having West Indies in trouble was when Richardson and Hooper were both out soon after lunch. Had Richards then been caught by Hughes at mid-off when he was 1, as he just might have been, West Indies would have been 93 for four. As it was, by adding 123 Greenidge and Richards made the game safe for West Indies. At no time did they make a serious attempt to reach their last-day target, which was 371 runs in a minimum of 95 overs. Greenidge's hundred was his first in his 32 Test innings in Australia.
Obdurate umpiring made it a contentious, albeit interesting, match. Each day brought disputed decisions. Marshall, when bowling, and Haynes, when given out caught at the wicket on the last morning, showed unconcealed dissent. After the game both captains, and also the West Indian manager, Clive Lloyd, considered it ill-advised of the Australian Board to have appointed one umpire (Evans) to such an important Test match when he had not stood in one before. In the Sydney match the two umpires had had only one previous Test appearance between them.
Man of the Match: D. M. Jones. Attendance: 58,479.
Man of the Series: C. E. L. Ambrose.
Close of play: First day, Australia 283-3 (D. M. Jones 131*, A. R. Border 61*); Second day, West Indies 74-1 (D. L. Haynes 22*, R. B. Richardson 39*); Third day, West Indies 338-8 (P. J. L. Dujon 12*, C. A. Walsh 2*); Fourth day, Australia 224-4 (D. C. Boon 55*, A. R. Border 6*).