In gaining a victory by an innings and 161 runs in the last Test match, the West Indies won the rubber for the first time in official Tests with England. Without detracting from the merits of a well-deserved success, it must be admitted that England suffered a severe misfortune when Wyatt, having scored a single in the first innings, received so heavy a blow from a rising ball bowled by Martindale that he was compelled to retire from the game with a compound fracture of the jaw. Still, the West Indies asserted their superiority in a manner that left no doubt that they were worthy winners, their fast bowling being too much for the England batsmen. In their first innings, two West Indies records for Tests with England were set up: the total of 535 for seven wickets was their largest, and Headley's not out 270 the highest individual score. Headley gave a truly wonderful display. He proved himself master of all the strokes in an innings lasting nearly eight hours and a quarter and, giving only one chance, before reaching three figures, he hit thirty 4's. He figured in two notable partnerships, that with Sealey yielding 202 for the third wicket and that with R. S. Grant realising 147. Paine bowled untiringly for long spells and he usually commanded respect, but none of the other members of the England attack caused batsmen much anxiety.

When England went in, they soon experienced trouble against the fast bowlers, for following the accident to Wyatt, four wickets went down for 26. Hendren and Ames added 68, but not until Iddon joined Ames was the bowling mastered. Playing fine cricket, the sixth pair put on 158 before Ames fell to a great catch by Constantine at silly mid-off. Batting for four hours and a half without serious error, Ames made runs all round the wicket in accomplished style, hitting sixteen 4's. The remaining batsmen offering little resistance, England followed on 264 in arrear. As in the first innings, Martindale and Constantine again proved a deadly bowling combination, and although Hammond and Ames offered stern resistance for a time, the tourists were always fighting a losing battle. C. G. Grant, the West Indies captain, retired with a sprained ankle and Constantine, taking over the leadership, at once made an astute move. Going on at the opposite end to that from which he had previously bowled, he quickly brought about the dismissal of Ames, and when Hammond played on to a yorker, six wickets had fallen for 82. This was the beginning of the end, and soon after lunch on the fourth day the West Indies gained an overwhelming victory. Constantine, in nine overs, took three wickets for 13 runs, returning a match record of six for 68, and in the two innings Martindale secured seven wickets for 84 runs.

© John Wisden & Co