Match reports


Toss: West Indies

Toss: West Indies. Test debut: West Indies - R.R.Jumadeen.
The last Test was played over six days as the series was still undecided and on a pitch which favoured spin the odds once more clearly favoured the West Indies. But for the third time in the series New Zealand struggled free from a seemingly hopeless situation and fought through for a highly creditable draw. They failed to save the follow-on, being 206 behind on the first innings, but on a pitch which was not getting any better Sobers did not enforce the follow-on. In the final innings New Zealand were helped considerably by rain, but at the last when all seemed lost a brave partnership between Taylor and Wadsworth saw them through.
The West Indies brought back Inshan Ali for Howard while Rowe, who had been having a lean time after the first Test, was not fit and an extra spinner, Jumadeen, orthodox left arm, was played in his place. Sobers won the toss for the fifth time in the series which gave the West Indies an important advantage and they were given a good start by Greenidge and Fredericks. This was followed by another exciting hundred by Kallicharran, but even so the West Indies batsmen never got completely on top of some good steady bowling, particularly by Howarth and Taylor. The fielding and catching was also magnificent and the transformation between the New Zealanders at the start of the tour at Kingston and at Port of Spain at the end was little short of astonishing.
The batting was still suspect and they began their innings disastrously. In the last hundred minutes on the second day they lost four wickets for 53, including those of Turner and Congdon. Most of the trouble was caused by Inshan Ali's back-of-the-wrist spin. Much of the third day was lost to rain, but on the fourth New Zealand failed by seven runs to save the follow-on. Inshan Ali, who had bowled with great control, finished with five for 59. Quite logically Sobers decided to bat again, but with such a big lead at their backs his batsmen succeeded in getting themselves out to a series of dreadful strokes and only a final flourish by Holder took them to 194. This left New Zealand to score 401 with more than a day and a half remaining.
Two and a half hours were then lost to rain that afternoon and when the last day began New Zealand had made 51 without loss. Turner and Congdon both hit good fifties, but throughout the last day wickets fell regularly and when Wadsworth joined Taylor New Zealand were 188 for seven with forty-seven minutes and the final twenty overs still left. These two now exemplified the fighting spirit which the New Zealanders had shown throughout the tour and in spite of all Sobers' bowling changes and field placings they saved the game and a memorable first series for New Zealand in the West Indies.