Fourth Test Match


At St. John's, April 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Drawn. Toss: West Indies.

Rain, and the Antiguan ground authority's inability to cope with its effects on the overworked outfield, wiped out the first three days and ensured a pointless draw. West Indies pressed for two one-day internationals to be arranged instead, while India wanted the Test extended for a couple more days, dropping their territorial match against Guyana, but they could not agree. Once the weather relented and the ground staff, mainly inmates from the nearby prison, got the outfield into acceptable condition, with help from a hovering helicopter, the Test was played to schedule over two days.

There was time only to score psychological points. India managed more, in spite of Lara's ninth Test hundred, on the same ground as his record 375 against England three years earlier. There was a lackadaisical air to the early West Indies batting until Lara took control. He was kept scoreless for 25 balls but then gathered his runs at a more familiar rate, moving from 90 to 100 with a swept four, his 11th, and a six over long-on off successive balls from Kumble. To the crowd's disappointment, he fell to Prasad, for the third time running, next over. Holder, who had lost little in comparison during a partnership of 142, soon followed, but Browne and the bowlers enjoyed themselves with the bat. When seven, Ambrose joined Sir Garfield Sobers and Malcolm Marshall as the only West Indians to have completed the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in Tests.

Sidhu having succumbed to malarial flu, India tried yet another opening partnership, Jadeja and Laxman. In his first Test of the series, Jadeja used the relaxed atmosphere to compile his highest Test score. He became anxious as he approached his hundred, however, and misjudged a second run to third man; beaten by Williams's accurate return to wicket-keeper Browne, he remained four short.

Man of the Match: B. C. Lara.

Close of play: First day, No play; Second day, No play; Third day, No play; Fourth day, West Indies 252-7 (C. O. Browne 4*).

© John Wisden & Co