Match reports


At Port of Spain, March 9, 10, 11, 12, 14

At Port of Spain, March 9, 10, 11, 12, 14. Drawn. For the second Test match in succession New Zealand made a miraculous escape. After Sobers had won the toss on a pitch with enough grass to give the seam bowlers some help early on, New Zealand found themselves at 99 for six midway through the afternoon and Congdon, the last of the specialist batsmen, had already been dropped three times. He survived two more chances and with splendid supporting innings from Taylor and Cunis he took New Zealand to 348, and on the last afternoon they even caught a quick glimpse of victory themselves when the West Indies collapsed in the final innings.
The New Zealand selectors brought in Taylor for Webb who had not looked ready for Test cricket in the first Test, while the West Indies had brought in Inshan Ali and Holder for Dowe and Shillingford. Sobers began the New Zealand downfall on the opening day when he dismissed Turner and Dowling in the first forty minutes. Holder then took two wickets and the middle order were thrown into complete disarray by the wrist spin of Inshan Ali and Holford.
When Taylor joined Congdon at 99 for six he made batting seem at least a possible art. Congdon had batted three hours, fifty minutes over his first 50, but Taylor now drove and cut with complete freedom and they added 69 in ninety minutes. The fight was carried on by Cunis whose determination more than made up for any lack of ability. Their stand continued into the second afternoon and by then Congdon was batting with authority. They added 136 in three hours, ten minutes and in all Congdon batted for eight and three-quarter hours.
When the West Indies went in the New Zealanders bowled better than at any time on the tour so far. The pitch was now helping spin, although only slowly, and Howarth bowled magnificently. Fredericks played well, but in a more subdued style than usual at the start of the innings and later Davis made a workmanlike 90, but the batsmen did not at any stage get on top of the bowling. Turner and Congdon both batted beautifully in the New Zealand second innings and when Dowling declared he left the West Indies to score 296 in 110 minutes and twenty overs. It was a stiff target, but having already saved a match which had seemed irrevocably lost, New Zealand obviously did not want to lose it again.
Carew and Fredericks began the innings at a fierce pace and 50 was on the board in only eleven overs, but the New Zealand over rate, as it was all through the tour, was unnecessarily slow and this made a West Indies victory even more unlikely. Surprisingly the batsmen went on playing wild strokes and after six of the final twenty overs they were 95 for five, but Davis and Holford managed to hold on until the end of another extraordinary game of cricket.