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Match reports

WEST INDIES v. NEW ZEALAND

It would be hard to imagine a duller game of cricket than this

15-Apr-1973
It would be hard to imagine a duller game of cricket than this. The abiding memory was of another mammoth innings double century by Turner, the utterly lifeless pitch and the total lack of effort by either captain to open up the game. The West Indies in their team selection (they played only four specialist bowlers and included an extra batsman in Kallicharran), appeared to have settled for a draw while New Zealand, who had marginally the better of the game from a purely mathematical viewpoint, were happy to fall in with this line of thought. The West Indies played Greenidge, the Barbados opening batsman, in place of Carew, and Howard, an off-spinner also from Barbados, played in place of Inshan Ali who, it was felt, would not be suited by the pitch.
The West Indies continued their first innings until an hour into the third day, partly as a result of some rain and partly because of a bottle-throwing incident on the first day when Lloyd was run out, which also cost some time. The run out was Lloyd's own fault, but the spectators were very disappointed and angry with Davis who was Lloyd's partner at the time. A section of the crowd began to throw bottles on to the ground, but as the result of an appeal by Lloyd himself over the local radio for order and good sense to prevail, the situation did not get out of hand. The crowd were given plenty to cheer about, however, when Kallicharran made a delightful hundred in his first Test innings. It was a remarkably mature innings for he did not allow the interruptions to unsettle him and scored the last 41 on the third morning in just an hour before Sobers declared. Greenidge also made a satisfactory start in Test cricket with a good looking half century.
New Zealand's innings was a statistician's dream. Turner and Jarvis gave the bowlers nothing to hope for as they went on remorselessly and painstakingly. At the end of the third day, after 90 overs, the score stood at 163 for nought and all through the following day milestones were reached, but never was there any hint of urgency about the batting. Irritatingly both batsmen played enough shots to show what could have been done. Most of the bowling, too, was by part-time bowlers because Holder was off the field for much of the innings, while Sobers was feeling a leg injury and bowled himself hardly at all. The pair put on 387 for the first wicket, a New Zealand record, but still Turner went on and when he was out for 259 for the second time in a week he had batted for eleven hours, forty-two minutes. Even then Congdon took three and a half hours to reach 50.
This Test Match was a complete negation of cricket as a game of challenge. Records were broken in the most meaningless way and for the last two days the ground was nearly empty, a bitter comment considering how little top-class cricket the Guyanese public are able to watch.