Third Test Match


Toss: West Indies.

Torrential, unseasonal rain restricted play to 23 overs on the first day and eight on the second, when the outfield was completely under water, as deep as eight inches in places. More rain left the ground in a similar state on the scheduled third day, but the initiative of the West Indies Board, in bringing forward the rest day, and the efficiency of the drainage system allowed a prompt start the following morning. With two days virtually lost, a draw was almost inevitable, and when morning rain delayed the start of the final day by 55 minutes, costing a further thirteen overs, that result was doubly assured.

Even so, the cricket was not without its moments, and there was a period on the fourth afternoon when Australia scented the possibility of enforcing the follow-on. However, Dujon and Marshall averted that threat, and Dujon and Ambrose, with his first Test half-century, secured West Indies' position with a new eighth-wicket record for West Indies against Australia. One down in the series, Australia had every reason to try to take the initiative after they had been put in, but a sluggish pitch and accurate bowling limited them to 204 off the 90 overs of the first full day's play. Their difficulties were made manifest by Border, who needed 142 balls to score 43 without a boundary. It was not until the Waughs, creating a piece of history by being the first twins to play together in a Test, added 58 in an hour and a half that the innings was given some impetus.

When West Indies batted, McDermott yorked Haynes in the fifth over, and Reid, in his first Test of the series, had Greenidge caught at second slip in the next. After this, wickets kept falling to carefree strokes, Hughes taking four for 19 in the space of five and a half overs, but the Australians could not sustain the effort. Dujon and Ambrose put West Indian minds at rest with their level-headed partnership of 87 in two hours. Dujon, who batted for 247 minutes, was out to the second new ball on the final day, without adding to his overnight score, but by then the match had lost its purpose.

Man of the Match: P. J. L. Dujon.

Close of play: First day, Australia 55-1 ( M. A. Taylor 28*, D. C. Boon 6*); Second day, Australia 75-1 ( M. A. Taylor 35*, D. C. Boon 18*); Third day, Australia 279-6 ( M. E. Waugh 57*, I. A. Healy 2*); Fourth day, West Indies 220-8 ( P. J. L. Dujon 70*, C. A. Walsh 6*).

© John Wisden & Co