Second Test Match


Toss: West Indies.

For four days this match was as exciting as the first Test in Melbourne. When, on the last day, Australia were 169 for four in their second innings with no chance of winning, the West Indian fast bowlers would have been expected a few years earlier to have finished them off.

Both sides made two changes for the match, Australia bringing in Dyson for Wellham and Thomson for Lawson while West Indies played Greenidge, whose knee had not completely mended, for Bacchus and Clarke for Roberts.

Lloyd batted on winning the toss and it was soon clear that playing Greenidge, who made a fine 66, was a worthwhile gamble. But the West Indian batsmen mostly got themselves out when well set, and instead of the huge score that once or twice looked likely they had to be content with 384. For that they were indebted to a long innings by Gomes, whose 126 took 444 minutes.

When Australia batted they were given a good start by Wood, but then fell away badly against some more hostile bowling from Holding. At one point they were in danger of having to follow on, but were saved from this by an innings of handsome strokes from Yardley, now close to being a genuine all-rounder, and a typically determined effort from Border. After gaining a lead of 117, West Indies promised more in their second innings than they in fact achieved. Haynes, Gomes, Lloyd and Dujon moved into the 40s or 50s before being undone through carelessness. The innings was finished off by a remarkable spell of off-spin bowling by Yardley: in 77 balls he took seven for 37, one from an amazing, leaping, overhead catch by Dyson to remove Clarke after a dash of some 25 yards. For one who did not turn to bowling off-breaks until he was 27, Yardley, now 34, has developed quickly.

Left to score 373 to win, Australia's second innings revolved round a mammoth defensive effort by Dyson, whose second Test hundred made sure of a draw. However, there were anxious moments on the last day when Laird and Chappell were out in the same over from Croft. Chappell, pushing forward to his first ball, was brilliantly caught by Murray diving across first slip to extend his run of failures. Hughes and Border were also out cheaply during the afternoon, but any chance the West Indian fast bowlers might have had of pressing their advantage home was ended when bad light prevented more than half an hour's play after tea. In his undefeated 127, occupying 377 minutes, Dyson hit eleven 4s.

Attendance: 115,161.

© John Wisden & Co