Second Test Match


At Perth, December 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. West Indies won by 169 runs. Toss: Australia. Had Australia held their catches on an overcast first morning, they might well have placed West Indies under unaccustomed pressure. Instead, Haynes (when 2), Greenidge (5) and Hooper (first ball) all survived reasonably straightforward chances, at slip and in the gully, and by the time bad light stopped play after 76 overs on the first day West Indies were 280 for four, Richards a swashbuckling 95 not out.

West Indies were unchanged from the side that had won easily in Brisbane. Australia switched their opening attack, Hughes and Lawson replacing Matthews and McDermott. Although the return of Hughes and the retention of Wood attracted much adverse criticism, they both enjoyed memorable success, Hughes becoming only the sixth Australian to take thirteen wickets in a Test match - the first against West Indies - and Wood making his ninth Test century.

For the first four days of a match which owed its character to the pace and bounce of the pitch, Australia made a very fair showing, especially in view of their fielding lapses, which continued through both West Indian innings. If there was a strong element of recklessness in Richards's first 50, and of arrogance in the way he added 51 on the second morning in only 40 minutes, his 23rd hundred for West Indies, and third in four-class innings on the tour, was still a breathtaking affair. He batted for 195 minutes, hitting 21 fours and three sixes. A more measured contribution was Logie's admirable 93.

Hughes and Lawson had bowled more than short enough for West Indian retaliation to be inevitable. But it was some time coming. By the close of the second day Australia were 119 for one, replying to West Indies' 449 all out. Boon had hooked and cut fearlessly. But Australia were in trouble, at 167 for four, when Waugh joined Wood on the third morning. These two added 200 for Australia's fifth wicket, a fine partnership which gave Australia real hope of an honourable draw. With Australia 350 for four, and Wood and Waugh showing confident form, West Indies were reduced to bowling bouncers as a defensive measure. Wood and Waugh were then both out and a storm blew up when Lawson had to be carried off on a stretcher with a badly broken jaw, having been struck by a lifting ball from Ambrose. While his blood was up, Border declared Australia's first innings, 54 runs behind, a gesture rewarded with Greenidge's wicket off the first ball of West Indies' second innings.

West Indies batted throughout the fourth day, while Haynes made his first Test hundred in Australia and Hughes, with Lawson absent, did Trojan work with the ball. Richards's decision to bat on for four overs on the last morning, until West Indies were 403 ahead, was one of amazing caution. But his bowlers still had time to win him the match. Left with 88 overs to survive, on a heavily fissured pitch, Australia were 46 for three with only nine of them gone. Twice after that their hopes revived, partly because the West Indian bowlers looked to be feeling the heat. But the loss of Border to Hooper's gentle pace, and then of Dodemaide to a dubious decision, meant that West Indies were left eventually with a winning margin of more than twenty overs. Lawson, his jaw wired, would have batted had it been, perhaps, half as many.

West Indies bowled a total of 88 no-balls, and for the second successive Test match there was an unusual hat-trick, achieved this time by Hughes and spread across three separate overs. With the last ball of his 36th over in West Indies' first innings Hughes had Ambrose caught at the wicket; off the first ball of his 37th over, Patterson was caught at cover point; and to the first ball of his first over in West Indies' second innings, Greenidge was leg-before. Hughes had to be told of his achievement, being unaware of it. It was the first Test hat-trick for Australia for more than 30 years and the seventh altogether.

Man of the Match: M. G. Hughes. Attendance: 47,039.

Close of play: First day, West Indies 280-4 (I. V. A. Richards 95*, A. L. Logie 30*); Second day, Australia 119-1 (D. C. Boon 65*, M. R. J. Veletta 7*); Third day, West Indies 2-1 (D. L. Haynes 0*, R. B. Richardson 2*); Fourth day, West Indies 331-8 (C. E. L. Ambrose 8*, C. A. Walsh 12*).

© John Wisden & Co