England, who won an important toss, looked likely winners for much of this game, and at lunch on the final day it seemed that nothing could prevent their going 2-0 ahead in the series. Instead, two hours of heavy rain turned a straightforward target into a difficult race against the clock, with imminent darkness and cynical West Indian time-wasting their dual obstacles. The match continued an hour beyond the scheduled close, but thirteen overs remained unbowled when the players came off because the light was so poor as to endanger life and limb. A deflating day for England was then immeasurably worsened by the news that their captain, Gooch, who had retired hurt after being struck twice on the left hand by Moseley, had broken a bone and would almost certainly miss the remainder of the tour.
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The pitch was well grassed, and both sides were anxious to bowl first. The events of the morning session, however, defeated even the most alarmist pre-match assessments. Eighty minutes into the game, West Indies were 29 for five, sent into decline by accurate seam bowling on a surface which was uncertain not only of bounce but also of pace. A crowd of some 10,000 was hushed in disbelief as it became evident that the Kingston upset was not the freak result many had believed it to be.
There was a time when West Indies' lowest Test score against England (86 at The Oval in 1957) was seriously threatened - an irony, as that was the last occasion on which England had completed two successive wins over West Indies. Their progress towards a similar feat was now retarded by a familiar foe. Logie, back in the West Indies side after missing the first two Tests with a hand injury, quickly restated his liking for English bowling. In 1988, in England, he averaged 72.80, often rescuing precarious positions. None, though, was as desperate as this. In his singular style, with its minimal backlift, Logie batted through the remainder of the innings, adding 63 for the sixth wicket with Hooper and, to England's weary frustration, 74 for the ninth with Bishop. He was 2 runs short of a third Test century when he cut Fraser to cover, having batted for 250 minutes.
A total of 199 represented relative riches, but Gooch and Larkins put it in perspective by batting through the first 53 overs of England's replay. They put on 112, deliberately circumspect with so much time available, but the expected acceleration never came. A day spent accruing 146 runs was arguably too slow, even allowing for the tardy over-rate. Gooch had been batting six-and-a-half hours for his anchoring 84 when he was out to lifting ball from Bishop, but his personal tactics were justified when the next five wickets fell for 49. This was West Indian fast bowling of renewed hostility, and Capel's 40, in three and a half hours, was an innings of considerable courage at a vulnerable time. England's lead of 89 was wiped out early on the fourth day as Greenidge and Haynes put on 96 for the first wicket. This absorbing Test twisted again in the moment that Greenidge, to his visible disgust, was adjudged leg-before to Fraser. Malcolm, untidy earlier in the day, then took three wickets in four balls of a furiously fast over and West Indies were 100 for four. Logie and Richardson hinted at a recovery, and the tailenders all contributed, but by the close West Indies were only 145 ahead with their last pair together. Malcolm completed the innings in the third over of the final day and returned figures of six for 77, and ten for 137 in the match, each a career best. As impressive as his speed was his previously unsuspected stamina, which allowed him to bowl 24 overs in a day, probably for the first time in his life. His selection now seemed a glorious gamble.
Needing 151 to win, with virtually all day in which to get them, England were given a positive launch, 25 coming from six overs. Larkins then fell to Moseley, who struck a more grievous blow by banishing Gooch in agony. The extent of his injury was kept from the England players while they fretted through the rain-ruined afternoon. When play resumed, in barely fit conditions, 78 were required from 30 overs, of which only seventeen were bowled before the light became too dangerous. England had lost wickets at vital times and, just fleetingly, a West Indies win had seemed possible. With delaying tactics of a blatant nature dictating the pace of the play, it was an unsatisfactory finish to an otherwise marvellous match.
Man of the Match: D. E. Malcolm.
Close of Play: First day, England 43-0 (G. A. Gooch 19*, W. Larkins 19*); Second day, England 189-2 (G. A. Gooch 83*, A. J. Lamb 20*); Third day, West Indies 11-0 (C. G. Greenidge 6*, D. L. Haynes 0*); Fourth day, West Indies 234-9 (I. R. Bishop 11*, C. A. Walsh 0*).