Trueman match bag of
11 for 152
Lord's Test drawn, but was a jewel of series
CRICKET: The 1963 West Indies tour of England produced by far the
most exciting and dramatic Test series ever played between the countries
in England. For once, an outrageously talented West Indian side, armed
with an intimidating pace attack and packed with powerful stroke-makers,
failed to achieve a walk-over.
Although eventually defeated in the series, England rose to the
Caribbean challenge with some inspired cricket that was at times almost
a match for the visitors in fire and flair.
This Lord's Test was the jewel of the series - although it was the
only drawn match, and played in grim June weather that constantly
interrupted proceedings with bad light and rain.
A result was possible as the last ball was being bowled. England
needed six runs to win with its last wicket pair together. David Allen
played Hall's last ball defensively forward.
West Indies batted first and Conrad Hunte opened the game with a
flourish like a fanfare of trumpets, 3 fours off the first 3 balls from
In the West Indies first innings, Garfield Sobers and Rohan Kannai
threatened to break away, adding 63 runs at a run a minute, but both
were eventually trapped before they could make a big innings. Trueman
was at his most fiery best, taking 6 for 100, although he suffered the
indignity of being slogged for four boundaries by his arch enemy Wes
England's response to the West Indies 301 was a roller-coaster of an
At first it seemed the pace attack of Hall and Griffith, with the
West Indians in the crowd backing them, would rip England apart.
But with 2 wickets down for 20, Ted Dexter stood up to Hall and hit
him fearlessly through the covers for four. Dexter reached 50 in 48
minutes and had made 70 out of a team score of 102 for 3 wickets when
Sobers trapped him leg before wicket. Still England were drifting to a
substantial first innings deficit, slipping to 206 for 6 wickets - the
Titmus - not asked to bowl in the West Indies - even a ball, Titmus made
56 not out and took England to within four of their opponents total.
Butcher - glorious century
In the second innings, West Indies reduced possibly the strongest
batting side of the world to 104 for 5 wickets. The great Sobers,
dropped at slip by Close when on 4, still made only 8 - caught behind
off Trueman. Basil Butcher hit a glorious century (133) and aided by
Frank Worrell playing in his last Lord's Test, restored West Indian
dominance. By the end of the 3rd day, the West Indies were 218 ahead
with 5 wickets still to fall.
Start of the 4th day saw West Indies innings fall apart in a
remarkable collapse. Trueman and Shackleton rattled down the last 5
wickets in just 25 minutes, bringing Trueman's match figures to 11 for
England needed 234 to win with ample time, weather permitting.
But things didn't turn out to be rosy for England and they were soon
in trouble at 31 for 3 wickets, Lance Gibbs accounted for Dexter, but
more typical was the dismissal of opener Mickey Stewart, caught off his
gloves as he ducked to evade a Hall bouncer.
Cowdrey and Barrington dug in, though constantly battered on the hand
and body. With the score at 72, a ball from Hall reared and struck
Cowdrey on the left arm. The batsman was helped off the field in
dreadful pain, the bone in his forearm broken.
Barrington's immediate response says much of England's spirit in this
match, 2 sixes hit into the grandstand off Gibbs next over. When play
was called off for bad light just after, England needed 118 to win.
The match did not resume until lunch on the final day. When the
persistent drizzle went away, there were 200 minutes play left and Hall
and Griffith powered the ball - the first hour produced only 18 runs. By
tea, with Barrington and Parks and, England were 171 for 5 wickets still
needing 63 runs in 85 minutes.
The hero of the innings was Brian Close - he weathered the storm of
Hall and Griffith for almost 4 hours. He also struck some powerful blows
to the boundary. Close went on to make 50.
With 45 minutes to go, England needed 34 runs to win and looked as if
they would get there, even though the West Indies were only bowling 14
overs an hour.
Wickets tumbled again - Titmus was out for 11 and Trueman for a
'duck' - England now had 2 wickets left, plus the injured Cowdrey.
Close progressed to 70 and England were 15 runs away victory. He then
swung once too often and the score was 219 for 8 wickets. Shackleton and
Allen - the last fit batsmen scrambled singles. Finally 8 runs were
needed off the last over by Hall in near darkness.
Singles came off the 2nd and 3rd balls. The fourth delivery
Shackleton was run out. As the ball went through to the wicketkeeper,
Allen ran. Shackleton was slow to start, Murray threw the ball to
Worrell at short-leg and the two oldest men in the match raced one
another along the pitch, Worrell winning by a length to knock down the
wicket and run Shackleton out.
So down the steps of the pavilion walked Colin Cowdrey, his arm in
plaster, intending if necessary to bat one-handed. But Allen defied
Hall's last two deliveries and the players raced off the field, mobbed
by a roaring hysterical crowd.
Minutes later, a cloudburst deluged Lord's in torrential rain. It was
ironic that one of the greatest Test matches ever played should have
been a rain-ruined draw!