English cricket team in West Indies in 1959-60

English cricket team in West Indies in 1959-60

Infobox cricket series
series=English cricket team in West Indies in 1959–60
date= 21 December 1959 — 31 March 1960
place=West Indies
result=England won the 5-Test series 1-0
team1=cr|West Indies
captain1=Gerry Alexander
captain2=Peter May
runs1=GS Sobers (709)
RB Kanhai (325)
FMM Worrell (320)
runs2=ER Dexter (526)
MC Cowdrey (491)
KF Barrington (420)
wickets1=WW Hall (22)
S Ramadhin (17)
CD Watson (16)
wickets2=FS Trueman (21)
JB Statham (10)
The English cricket team in the West Indies in 1959-60 played five Test matches, eight other first-class matches and two minor games. [In matches other than Tests, the team played as "MCC".] England won the Test series by one match to nil, with the other four matches being drawn.

The England touring party

:PBH May (captain) (3) [May missed the last two Tests and had to fly home, following the reopening prior to the second Test of a wound that was a legacy of pre-tour surgery. Cowdrey took over the captaincy.] :DA Allen (5):KV Andrew (wicket-keeper) (0):KF Barrington (5):MC Cowdrey (5):ER Dexter (5):T Greenhough (0):R Illingworth (5):AE Moss (2):JM Parks (wicket-keeper) (1) [Parks was not part of the original touring party but was called up for the fifth Test. He had been coaching in Trinidad.] :G Pullar (5):MJK Smith (5):JB Statham (3):R Subba Row (2):R Swetman (wicket-keeper) (4):FS Trueman (5):Manager: RWV Robins

:Note: Number of Tests played is given in brackets.

Following the unsuccessful tour of Australia a year earlier, the selectors opted for youth, with only May, Cowdrey, Trueman and Statham having had substantial Test experience.

Players who represented West Indies

:FCM Alexander (captain) (wicket-keeper) (5) :BF Butcher (2) :CC Griffith (1) :WW Hall (5) :CC Hunte (5) :RB Kanhai (5) :EDAS McMorris (4) :SM Nurse (1) :S Ramadhin (4):RO Scarlett (3):CK Singh (2) :GS Sobers (5) :JS Solomon (2):CL Walcott (2):CD Watson (5):FMM Worrell (4)

:Note: Number of Tests played is given in brackets.

Test Matches

Matches were played over six days, each of five hours.

First Test (6-12 January, 1960)

Apart from Cowdrey, who having opened the England innings was ninth out, none of the England batsmen made more than 30 in the first innings. During his Test career, Hall never improved on his figures in this innings. By the end of the second day West Indies had reached 81/2 in their reply. Next day, they lost only McMorris, retired hurt, as they closed at 291/2, already with a first innings lead. Sobers was on 142 and Nurse, in his first Test, on 46. However Sobers' early dismissal next morning triggered a collapse, and although McMorris was fit to resume his innings the West Indies led by only 76. McMorris made 73 and Nurse 70. Cowdrey and Pullar more than wiped off the deficit, taking their first wicket stand to 177 before both were out at that score, Cowdrey narrowly missing his second century of the match. The innings then fell away, and with one day to go England, at 280/9, led by only 204. However next morning Allen and Statham held out for 45 minutes, adding 25 runs, and West Indies needed 230 in 245 minutes if they were to win. Hunte began in attacking fashion, scoring 40 out of 48 in an hour before he was the second man out. "Wisden" felt the turning-point came when Sobers was run out when looking dangerous, to make the score 86/3. West Indies continued to chase the target, but scoring was never easy. At tea 115 were still needed in 90 minutes. When Kanhai was out at 152/6 West Indies gave up the chase and England tried to get the four remaining wickets in the forty-five minutes that were left. May refused to allow Kanhai a runner near the end, when he had developed cramp. In fact Kanhai was entitled to a runner under the laws. May apologised to Kanhai and Alexander after the match for his mistake. The umpires and Alexander himself had also been unsure about the position.

During the first day part of a tin roof collapsed from the weight of spectators standing on it, and several people were injured. [ [http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/152729.html "Wisden Cricketers' Almanack", 1961 edition, Report of Third Test] ]

Fourth Test (9-15 March, 1960)

This Test was similar to the previous one in many respects. Again Cowdrey top-scored in England's first innings and Hall was the most successful bowler. Again Sobers scored a century for West Indies, who once more secured a sizeable first innings lead but scored too slowly to have enough time to press home their advantage.

There were a number of changes in the sides from the previous Test. With May too ill to play and being forced to fly home, Cowdrey took over the England captaincy and Subba Row came into the side. West Indies were without Ramadhin because of shoulder trouble. Lance Gibbs was the intended replacement, but he had damaged his spinning finger, so that Scarlett was retained and Singh was included as a second spinner. Walcott, who had supposedly retired from Test cricket, was recalled, replacing Nurse. Worrell, who had not been fit for the previous Test, returned at the expense of Solomon.

After a solid start on a rain-shortened first day, when they reached 152/2, England fell away on the second. Only 55 from Allen enabled them to make as many as 295 in the face of Hall's fast bowling. Alexander took four catches. Though West Indies achieved a substantial first innings lead, thanks largely to Sobers, they scored at not much over two runs an over. Between them, the two English off-spinners, Allen and Illingworth, bowled 85 overs for only 147 runs. Thanks to centuries by Dexter and Subba Row (his first in Tests), England had no difficulty in saving the game, reaching 320/3 at one point before there was a flurry of wickets when it was too late to matter. [ [http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/152730.html "Wisden Cricketers' Almanack", 1961 edition, Report of Fourth Test] ]

Fifth Test (25-31 March, 1960)

Statham had flown home because his son was seriously ill, and Moss replaced him in the side. Swetman, the wicket-keeper, had managed only 58 runs in the first four Tests, and was dropped. With Andrew, the other wicket-keeper in the party, having few pretensions as a batsman, Parks - who had been coaching in Trinidad - took Swetman's place. His only previous Test appearance had been as a specialist batsman in 1954. West Indies included a third fast bowler, Griffith, making his Test debut. With Ramadhin fit again, Scarlett and Singh were omitted.

As in the four previous matches, England won the toss and batted first. For the third Test in succession, Cowdrey and Sobers top-scored in their respective sides' first innings. The first day ended with England 256/3, Cowdrey and Dexter having added 191 in 225 minutes for the third wicket before Dexter was out for 76. Next day, though Barrington took his score to 69 and Parks made 43, England only added another 137 for their last seven wickets. In reply, West Indies were at one point 190/2, thanks to Sobers and Walcott (53), but declined to 230/6. Hunte, who had retired hurt when the total was 24, returned to make 72* by the time that West Indies declared 55 behind in the hope of forcing a win. With England declining to 148/6 when Dexter was run out for 47, they seemed likely do so. However Smith and Parks then put on 197, which remains England's seventh wicket record partnership against all countries. Parks' hundred was his first in Tests. Cowdrey's declaration left West Indies a notional 406 to win at 140 an hour. Though they had no hope of winning, West Indies managed to score at four runs an over in their second innings, a better rate than they had generally managed in the series.

Alexander finished with 23 dismissals, which equalled the then world record for a Test series. [ [http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/152731.html "Wisden Cricketers' Almanack", 1961 edition, Report of Fifth Test] ]

Other first-class matches

Won 3, lost 1, drew 4.

:Beat Windward Islands by 10 wickets:Lost to Barbados by 10 wickets:Beat Trinidad by 6 wickets:Beat Trinidad by 10 wickets:Drew with Jamaica:Drew with Leeward Islands:Drew with British Guiana:Drew with Berbice


Though the tour was less acrimonious than that made by England six years earlier, according to "Wisden" there were nevertheless still some contentious issues, notably those of slow over rates, excessive short-pitched bowling and throwing. England were the main culprits in wasting time; having won the second Test they set out to avoid defeat in the remaining three matches. Short-pitched bowling was overdone, especially by the West Indian fast bowlers Hall and Watson. Two bowlers playing regularly for West Indies in the Tests had actions that "Wisden" considered to be suspect.



* [http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Seasons/WI/1959-60_WI_Marylebone_Cricket_Club_in_West_Indies_1959-60.html Scorecards]
* [http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/155245.html "Wisden Cricketers' Almanack", 1961 edition, "M.C.C. team in West Indies 1959–60"]

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