Fifth Test Match

India v West Indies

With the rubber even, the final Test was extended to six days. The might of the West Indies batting was again manifest and they were not in the least bit flattered by the big margin of victory.

By the standards of the previous Tests, Roberts had a lean match, taking only one wicket in each innings, but Gibbs, with nine wickets in the match (seven for 98 in the first innings) and Holder, with six for 39 (his best Test performance) in the second innings, rose to the occasion.

The result might have been different if Lloyd had not won the toss for the first time in the series. The pitch never became difficult, but it had looked as if it would not last and the prospect of batting last would have put the West Indies, their confidence somewhat shaken after Calcutta and Madras, under psychological pressure.

The West Indies first innings, declared at 604 for six, spanned the first two days and seventy-five minutes of the third. On the second day, ninety minutes' play was lost owing to a crowd disturbance, sparked off by police action against a spectator who ran on to the field to congratulate Lloyd on reaching his double century.

The foundation of the massive West Indies total was a chanceless 104 by Fredericks. Kallicharran made 98, but not with the fluency of his displays earlier in the series and he had a reprieve at 23, being dropped in the gully off Ghavri.

Lloyd's 242 not out in just over seven hours and including four 6's and nineteen 4's, was marked by three chances -- a return catch to Bedi at 8, a fierce one to gully at 70, early on the second morning, and a stumping chance off Prasanna, at 154. Lloyd and Murray added 250 for the sixth wicket, the latter batting in low key, but very competently, for 91.

India, going in thirty-five minutes before lunch on the third day, batted into the fifth day and replied with 406, their highest score of the series and one which just sufficed to save the follow-on.

Solkar made his first Test century, a dogged, drab innings, but one which India could hardly have done without. Gavaskar made a delightful 86, playing superb shots against Roberts, who could not summon his full pace, and who tended to overpitch.

India lost only their night watchman Prasanna on the morning of the fourth day and Solkar was the sole victim in the next session. Viswanath again batted like a master for 95 and Gaekwad made another half-century.

The Indian Board had rejected West Indies' justified request to make up the ninety minutes taken by the riot and hence only ten hours were available for the West Indies, 198 runs ahead, to force home their advantage. Only they, with an array of lethal batsmen, could have given their bowlers enough time to bowl India out a second time.

In three hours they rattled up 205 runs for three wickets and declared. After Fredericks and Greenidge had put on 75 for the first wicket, Lloyd scored 37 off 17 balls, of which he hit two for 6 and three to the boundary. Richards did almost as well, taking 39 from 23 balls. If either had fallen quickly, Kallicharran was lying handy for another wave of attack.

India's fate was sealed in the last ninety minutes of the penultimate day, when Gavaskar, Engineer and Viswanath went for 53 runs. Gavaskar was brought to book by Roberts with a short one, Engineer played a reckless hook and Viswanath was bowled by Holder with probably the best ball of the series.

The subsidence of the Indian batting on the last day was steady, and completed by mid-afternoon. But West Indies were held up by a seventh-wicket stand of 72 between Gaekwad and Patel, who voraciously attacked the spinners while making 73 not out. The new ball was claimed to prevent a stand by the tail-enders.

© John Wisden & Co