First Test Match


West Indies won by an innings and 112 runs with some magnificent fast bowling on a bouncy pitch supported by spectacular catching. Yet, midway through the opening day, Australia had established an early advantage after Hughes had decided to bowl first. Two days of rain preceding the match had left the pitch under-prepared and unpredictable and Alderman, on his return to Test cricket on the ground where he had been injured two seasons earlier in a clash with an intruding spectator, took four wickets for 5 runs from 26 balls to leave West Indies 104 for five.

Gomes and Dujon halted the decline, in spite of blows to the head. Neither was wearing a helmet at the time. Dujon, who was hit by a ball from Alderman before he had scored, called for one but then temporarily retired, complaining of blurred vision. By the end of the first day, at 211 for six, West Indies could not be entirely satisfied. However, Dyson missed a straightforward chance at second slip off Alderman early next day when Gomes was 45, and it was not until an hour after lunch that the partnership was eventually broken, Dujon then being caught behind after hitting 21 4s in four hours' batting. Gomes was last out after a determined innings lasting seven and three-quarter hours.

Australia lost three wickets for 36 in just over the hour available to them on the second afternoon and the result was virtually settled in the first session of the third day when Australia lost eight wickets for 45. All out for their lowest total ever against West Indies, they immediately lost Wessels in the first over when they followed on. West Indies were irresistible, Holding taking six for 20 from 8.2 overs, Garner and Marshall offering no respite at the other end, and the fielders supporting the effort with several brilliant catches. If their cricket became somewhat ragged as Dyson and Wood added 91 in Australia's second innings, with Garner being no-balled six times in an over for overstepping, in the final session Marshall and Walsh claimed two wickets each and only a pugnacious last-wicket partnership of 59 between Lawson and Alderman delayed Australia's inevitable defeat early on the fourth day.

© John Wisden & Co