of the World won toss): England beat the Rest of the
World by 45 runs
AFTER their six-wicket defeat in the opening match at
Lord’s, England squared the CMJ/Wisden Test series with
a close-fought victory at the Kensington Oval in
Barbados. Ian Botham bounced back from a quiet first
Test with superb innings of 73 and 101 not out, and the
old firm of Fred Trueman and Brian Statham combined to
great effect with the ball on a quick, bouncy pitch to
share 14 wickets.
Garry Sobers won the toss and decided to field, but
initially England made steady progress. Dennis Lillee
removed Len Hutton for ten and Graham Gooch for 36,
before Ted Dexter took advantage of some loose bowling
from Malcolm Marshall to hit a memorable 58 off 80
balls. Sobers brought himself on and, swinging the ball
well, pinned Dexter in front and then had Colin Cowdrey
Peter May was now joined by Botham, who set about the
bowling with an abandon he rarely showed in the
Caribbean. There was little in the pitch for the
spinners and Botham romped to a half- century, which
included a huge six off Muralitharan and a defiant hook
The stand had reached 106 when Marshall moved one
back in to Botham to trap him leg-before for 73. England
had been 248 for four, but now that flimsy tail
collapsed again, as the last six wickets tumbled for 60.
Only May, who was left on 92, could resist Marshall and
Lillee, who finished with four wickets apiece.
For once, the World XI’s tail malfunctioned, too:
their last five wickets went down for 39. Before that,
however, a muscular century from Viv Richards — he faced
only 138 balls and powered 11 fours and two sixes —
seemed to have ensured a handy lead, but in the end it
was only 31 despite the efforts of Brian Lara, Sachin
Tendulkar and Adam Gilchrist.
Statham was the pick of the bowlers. After the early
scalp of Barry Richards for 29, he returned with the new
ball to dispose of Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Marshall.
Marshall was equally impressive as England’s second
innings started, having Gooch caught behind in his
second over. May followed for 13 and, shortly
afterwards, Hutton misjudged a late inswinger from
Lillee. Dexter counter-attacked for a sparkling 46, but,
when Cowdrey and Alan Knott departed, England — at 188
for six — were only 157 in front.
Now Botham cut loose, though, tucking into Lillee and
Muralitharan in a passable impersonation of his
Headingley 1981 heroics. The crowd rose to acclaim a
great century, which included 11 fours and three sixes.
In the next over, Statham was caught by Sobers and
England were all out for 299. Marshall’s six wickets
gave him match figures of ten for 148.
Needing 269 to win, the Rest of the World passed 100
for the loss of Sunil Gavaskar. Barry Richards attacked
for 62 but, after Trueman had him caught behind, the
innings fell apart. There were two more wickets for
Statham, and Underwood and Laker chipped in with a
wicket apiece as the score slipped to 155 for six.
Sobers remained defiant, but, amid rising tension,
the England fast bowlers worked their way through the
lower order. Fittingly, Statham made the final
incisions: after Muralitharan snicked a catch behind,
Lillee was bowled to give Statham his eighth wicket of
the match. Sobers was left high and dry on 53 not out
and then joined the applause as Botham received the
man-of-the-match award for his outstanding batting and
two significant first-innings wickets.
The teams now move on to Cape Town for the third
Computer simulation devised by Y. Ananth
Narayanan for wisden.com.