Third Test Match


New Zealand won by five wickets to square the series, inflicting on West Indies their first defeat in three days' play since 1965 when they were beaten by Australia at Port-of-Spain. Unfit conditions on certain parts of the outfield, caused by two days of heavy rain, had led to the abandonment of the first day and had also hindered the proper preparation of the pitch, which was slightly damp when play began promptly on the second morning. The toss provided New Zealand with an early advantage, and Hadlee and Chatfield capitalised on it against batting lacking application and discipline. The collapse started with the first ball of the third over, when Hadlee went through Haynes's defence to hit the off stump, and only the last-wicket partnership of Gray and Walsh lifted West Indies past 77, their previous lowest total against New Zealand. There were five slip catches as Hadlee, whose first four overs cost 25 runs, returned to maintain the pressure initiated by Chatfield, who bowled his eighteen overs unchanged, offering hardly a bad ball.

New Zealand lost both left-handed openers cheaply, Horne, on his début, and Wright falling to catches at first slip. But the Crowe brothers put them ahead by the end of the day. Both had been dropped by then, Jeff by the wicket-keeper off Marshall when 16, Martin at slip off Richards when 39, and Martin gave a chance to gully off Marshall next day when 75. Their stand was worth 156 when Martin, having struck thirteen hearty fours, got himself into a tangle over a pull shot against Marshall and was bowled 17 runs short of his third century of the series. Gray then claimed two quick wickets, only for Coney and Bracewell to consolidate New Zealand's advantage by adding 89. Bracewell took toll of his dispirited opponents with two sixes and four fours in his 66, the last 39 coming from 29 balls after tea.

West Indies had a deficit of 232 when Coney declared and Greenidge, who lifted Bracewell for six in the final over, and Haynes had reduced it by 35 at the close. When Haynes was out to the sixth ball and Greenidge to the seventh next morning, all fight seemed to leave the West Indians and they batted with carefree abandon as wickets fell at regular intervals. Richards epitomised his team's approach. Coming in at 80 for three after Hadlee had claimed his 350th Test wicket by having Richardson caught off a miscued hook, he took five fours off the first seven balls he received from Hadlee and was then caught behind, cutting at a ball too close to him, the first of Snedden's five wickets. Dujon and Marshall delayed the end with a seventh-wicket partnership of 77, but New Zealand were left with the seeming formality of scoring 33. However, Walsh and Gray, bowling with real pace and hostility, made it anything but. Gray supplemented his bowling with two stunning catches, one at slip, the other at gully, but it was little more than a gesture. New Zealand completed their well-deserved victory with 25 minutes remaining of the day. Their fifth wicket in the second innings was that of Coney, their captain, who was given an emotional reception by the crowd in his last Test.

Man of the match: E. J. Chatfield and R. J. Hadlee (shared).

Close of play: First day, No play; Second day, New Zealand 117-2 (J. J. Crowe 38*, M. D. Crowe 44*); Third day, West Indies 35-0 (C. G. Greenidge 16*, D. L. Haynes 17*).

© John Wisden & Co