NEWLANDS (Rest of
the World won toss): Rest of the World beat England by
A MEMORABLE opening partnership by Len Hutton and
Graham Gooch took England close to victory in the third
CMJ/Wisden Test match after an attacking declaration
from Garry Sobers set up a superb finish in Cape Town.
The Rest of the World had claimed a huge
first-innings lead of 335 but the bowling skills of
Muttiah Muralitharan and Dennis Lillee were eventually
needed to give the multinational side a 2-1 lead with
two matches remaining.
Sunil Gavaskar, who never played official Tests in
South Africa, took the chance to compile a watchful
century for the Rest of the World. He lasted for 333
balls and his 145 contained only ten fours.
There was a delightful period of double vision when
Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, the two little Indian
masters, put on 87 before Tendulkar fell to Derek
Underwood for 39.
Fred Trueman eventually had Gavaskar caught at
mid-off with the total at 273, but by then Brian Lara
was established. He lashed nine fours in his 75, after
which Adam Gilchrist cracked a quick 66. At the other
end in this left-handers’ parade, Sobers looked on. When
Ian Botham and Brian Statham blew away the tail,
finishing with three wickets apiece, Sobers was stranded
on 89, with ten sparkling fours.
The Rest’s total of 485 looked larger still as
Malcolm Marshall tore in. England slumped to 32 for
three, as Gooch, Ted Dexter and Peter May fell to the
Barbadian speedster, and the score was only 68 when
Marshall added a fourth, Colin Cowdrey padding up once
Hutton, with a patient 48, and Botham (39) steadied
the ship, but then Shane Warne got to work. Hutton
feathered a catch behind and the fall of Botham to the
flipper triggered the type of collapse that has haunted
England in this series. The last five wickets crumbled
for just nine runs.
Mindful of the problems that might face the team
batting last, Sobers decided not to enforce the
follow-on. When Barry Richards fell cheaply to Trueman
for the second time, Sobers pushed Gilchrist up the
order in the search for quick runs. He responded with a
brisk 42, while Gavaskar, who was named man of the
match, had grafted his way to 57 when the declaration
England’s target was 486, but they had two full days
in which to score the runs.
The openers gave them a great start. It was quite a
sight: Hutton slight and diffident, wielding his
undersize bat like a wand; Gooch chunky and confident,
brandishing what seemed to Hutton like a railway
As the fourth day unfolded, Sobers tried not to think
of Port of Spain in 1968, when his declaration led to a
series-winning victory for England.
Hutton and Gooch batted on, past the tea interval,
before Sobers took the second new ball. Lillee responded
by trimming Gooch’s bails for 104. He faced 246 balls,
hit eight fours plus a big six off Muralitharan, and the
partnership with Hutton was worth 205.
In the last over of the fourth day, Warne trapped
Dexter in front for 19. There was more bad news for
England in the third over of the final day, when Lillee
disposed of Hutton. He faced 305 balls and hit nine
fours, and his 113 was his third hundred of the series.
Lillee had Cowdrey caught behind, too, but then May
and Botham joined forces. Botham was in subdued mode —
his 49 contained only four fours — and with less than
100 needed he was run out. Shortly afterwards
Muralitharan had May caught at slip for 64.
Murali whipped out Laker, Underwood and Trueman for
ducks, and finished things off with a return catch from
Statham, for a five-wicket haul.
Computer simulation devised for Wisden.com by Y.
Ananth Narayanan, of Hallmark Software, Bangalore,
India. Detailed player profiles and a Wisden 20:20
statistical analysis of the match can be found at http://www.wisden.com/