Match reports


Forced to bat first, when the pitch contained moisture which made batting difficult, India recovered from a worrying first-innings total to earn a commendable draw

Forced to bat first, when the pitch contained moisture which made batting difficult, India recovered from a worrying first-innings total to earn a commendable draw. To do so, they needed to bat ten hours, twenty minutes in their second innings, in which they recorded their highest-ever total in a Test in the West Indies.
Rain on the eve of the match and on the first day affected the preparation of the pitch, the ball moving in the heavy atmosphere and off the well-grassed surface throughout a greatly reduced first day. India scored 44 for three and Yashpal retired hurt. They might well have lost more wickets with better bowling and a little less luck, especially after Gaekwad had been run out off the third ball answering Gavaskar's call for an impossible single.
For the rest of the match, the weather remained warm and sunny and the pitch became better and better. India's first-innings 175 was based on a stand of 103 between Amarnath and Shastri for the fourth wicket after which the last six wickets fell for 44, four going to Marshall, whose five for 37 were his best Test figures.
There was an astonishing start to the West Indian innings in which both openers fell to Sandhu's medium-paced swing without scoring and Richards was caught behind down the leg side off Kapil Dev for 1. Never in Test history had West Indies lost their first three wickets so cheaply and they might not have recovered had wicket-keeper Kirmani not missed a straightforward catch from Gomes off Venkataraghavan when 21 and a barely acceptable one down the leg side from Lloyd off Sandhu when 10. As it was, the two left-handers rebuilt the innings in their contrasting styles by adding 237 for the fourth wicket. Lloyd's 143 included two 6s and thirteen 4s and was his fifteenth Test century. Gomes, less assured than his captain, batted seven and threequarter hours for his fifth Test century and his first on his home ground. The lower order extended West Indies' lead to 219, the rest of the innings including Kapil Dev's 200th Test wicket when he bowled Roberts with the second ball of the fourth day. He had passed 2,000 runs in the previous Test.
India were left with just over five sessions to bat for a draw, and the loss of Gavaskar, completely out of sorts, put the pressure on the other batsmen. By now, however, the pitch was placid and, with the exception of the hostile Marshall, no West Indian bowler could strike life from it.
Amarnath led the way for India with a flawless 117, his fourth century in eight Tests since his triumphant return in the previous series in Pakistan. Amarnath, often battered and bruised during his defiant five and threequarter hours at the wicket, eventually fell lbw to a gentle off-break from Richards, whereupon the quick loss of Yashpal and Shastri raised West Indian hopes. But Kapil Dev, batting with characteristic abandon, scotched any thoughts of an Indian collapse similar to that of the first Test, and, Lloyd having sportingly claimed the last half hour, he reached an explosive 100 with three 6s and thirteen 4s.