Match reports


At St John's, Antigua, April 12, 14, 15, 16

At St John's, Antigua, April 12, 14, 15, 16. West Indies won by an innings and 32 runs. Toss: England. A series which had been richly competitive ended with a match which was so one-sided as to be anticlimactic. West Indies won before tea on the fourth day; England finished bruised and deflated, harshly beaten in a series in which they had boldly made much of the running.
If, overall, they could be considered unfortunate, this last game contained all the elements that many had predicted for entire series, most notably fast bowling of a hostile intensity. Bishop took eight wickets in the match and Ambrose six, while England's Smith was subjected to a concerted short-pitched assault which failed to attract umpiring censure. One such ball broke Smith's right forefinger, though this was revealed only after he had bravely attempted to bat in the second innings. When the game was over, the England management also announced that Hussain, who made 35 and 34 had played with a broken wrist and that Lamb had chipped a bone in his elbow.
West Indies were without Marshall, Moseley and Best, all injured. Gooch, Fraser and David Smith were similarly ruled out of the England side, and the inclusion of Gower was this time seriously considered. Lamb won the toss and chose to bat on the quickest, bounciest pitch of the series. Although England lost only one wicket before lunch, and two more before tea, the opening day was dictated by the West Indian bowlers. England's first four were all out to indiscreet strokes when well set, and the middle order made no great impression. Dismissed shortly after lunch on the second day, England then played their worst cricket of the series, allowing the West Indian openers 228 runs in 51 overs. Mightily though Greenidge and Haynes batted, life was made easy for them by England's stray and undisciplined bowling. Both were past 100 by close of play, Greenidge's eighteenth Test hundred being appropriate in his 100th Test. The Antiguan crowd, always among the world's noisiest, celebrated in animated style.
Without a spin bowler for variety, England continued to look stereotyped the following day. However, having finally parted Greenidge and Haynes after a West Indies first-wicket record of 298, they took the next nine wickets for only 148 runs. Greenidge was run out by Small's direct hit from 70 yards, but Haynes extended his stay to nine hours for 167. Richards, who had been involved in an ugly press box scene with an English journalist, was out to the second ball he received. Late in the innings, Capel was cautioned for two consecutive bouncers at Ambrose, a quaint diversion by umpires who had ignored far more overt intimidation on the opening day.
Trailing by 186, England needed to bat for two days to save the game and series. But they were not in a mental or physical condition for such heroics. They lost Larkins before the close of the third day, the opening batsman failing to sight a ball from Ambrose in confusing, shadowy light. Three more wickets went down in the first hour next morning, and when Smith, such a rock of resistance all series, was reluctantly obliged to retire hurt, it was only a matter of waiting for the end. Lamb counter-attacked spiritedly and Hussain's contribution was undeniably brave, but England were left to rue their inadequate first-innings batting and, particularly, their over-generous bowling.
Man of the Match: D. L. Haynes
Close of Play: First day, England 203-6 ( N. Hussain 16*, R. C. Russell 4*); Second day, West Indies 228-0 ( C. G. Greenidge 118*, D. L. Haynes 101*); Third day, England 16-1 ( A. J. Stewart 4*).