Third Test Match


At Adelaide, January 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. West Indies won by 408 runs. West Indies needed only a draw to clinch their first series in Australia; instead they so outplayed their dispirited opponents that their victory was one of the most overwhelming in Tests between the two countries. As usual, their formula for success was consistent batting, irresistible fast bowling and athletically alert fielding.

Put in, West Indies were given a flying start by Richards after Greenidge had fallen an early victim to Lillee. Batting with his accustomed flair, Richards hit thirteen boundaries before the first interval, when West Indies were 115 for one. His dismissal fourth ball on resumption brought a dramatic transformation in fortunes. Experienced off-spinner Mallett, playing his first Test in four years, accounted for Haynes and Kallicharran, leaving Lloyd and Rowe engaged in a desperate partnership to prevent a collapse. After an uncertain start they added 113 in under two hours, Lloyd finding his best form and taking charge in robust fashion. Dropped at 69 and 87 off Dymock, he scored 94 of his 121 runs in the final session, hitting seventeen 4s in just over three hours. He fell to Lillee in the day's final over, which also accounted for Roberts, leaving West Indies 303 for eight. The innings ended less than a quarter of an hour into the second day but, although the total was West Indies' lowest of the series, it proved well beyond Australia's capabilities.

By lunch, Australia were 26 for three, and they never recovered. The two most crucial wickets were those of the Chappell brothers to successive deliveries from Roberts, both steeply rising bouncers, Laird once more batted resolutely for his fourth half-century of the series, with useful support from Hughes and Border, who was Australia's top score. When Australia were all out early on the third morning, 125 behind. West Indies set about relentlessly building on their advantage.

Greenidge, dropped behind off Dymock, when 9, put on 48 with Haynes and 136 with Richards to set the foundations of another huge West Indian total. His 76, ended when Mallett deceived him in flight, was his first half-century in nine Test innings in Australia; Richards's innings, ended immediately before tea during an experimental over from Border, produced his seventh successive fifty in Tests in Australia. However, their dismissal brought no respite as Kallicharran, Rowe and Lloyd all batted freely, Kallicharran ending a disappointing series with his twelfth Test century which included thirteen boundaries.

With time on his side, and mindful of past indignities suffered by West Indian teams in Australia, Lloyd let the innings run its course. When it was over, threequarters of an hour after lunch on the fourth day, Australia faced an academic target of 573. None of their batsmen seemed to have the will to make a fight of it and they were a miserable 131 for seven at stumps. Again it was Laird who defied the fast bowling longest, but West Indies needed only nine overs on the final morning to formalise their victory, retain the Worrell Trophy, and collect a cheque of $A24,000 for the accumulated prize-money for the victory. Lloyd, in almost certainly his last Test in Australia, was voted Man of the Match and Richards the Player of the Series.

© John Wisden & Co